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Rapid Recap: Avalanche 3, Flyers 1

Mikko Rantanen scored twice and Pavel Francouz made 32 saves in win against Philadelphia

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 on Wednesday night at Pepsi Center to stretch the team's point streak to eight games (7-0-1).

Colorado's current run with a point matches its longest such streak of the season, which was previously set at the start of the year (7-0-1, Oct. 3-19).

Mikko Rantanen tallied twice for the Avalanche after Matt Calvert began the game's scoring early in the first period. The Avs recorded a goal in each frame.

Pavel Francouz was playing in his fourth straight game and stopped 32-of-33 shots, including all 17 he faced in the second period. He is now 6-0-1 in his last nine appearances.

Philadelphia's Claude Giroux scored with 5:12 remaining to end Francouz's shutout bid.

Statistics | Photo Gallery | Highlights | Notes & Quotes | Video: Coach Bednar Postgame

THE GOALS

1st Period
5:21 COL (1-0) - Calle Rosen's shot from the point was deflected by both Valeri Nichushkin and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare before going off the left post, and Matt Calvert buried the rebound with a backhand shot from the right side.

2nd Period
16:05 COL (2-0) - Mikko Rantanen tapped in Nathan MacKinnon's pass in front with his backhand while driving to the net.

3rd Period
2:31 COL (3-0) - Mikko Rantanen tallied his second of the night after receiving a pass from behind the net from Nazem Kadri. Calle Rosen also recorded an assist.
14:48 COL (3-1) - Claude Giroux scored on a backhand shot in the low slot.

Final: Avalanche - 3 | Flyers - 1

3 STARS

  1. Mikko Rantanen (COL): Scored twice, including the game-winning marker
  2. Pavel Francouz (COL): Stopped 32 shots
  3. Nathan MacKinnon (COL): Contributed an assist

Selected by Colorado Hockey Coach of the Game: Mike Grolnic (Arvada Hockey Association)

POWER PLAYS

Colorado: 0 for 2
Philadelphia: 0 for 2

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Colorado: Pavel Francouz made his second straight start and played in his fourth consecutive game, a career high. He made 32 saves.
Philadelphia: Carter Hart stopped 25 shots, including making a sprawling, cross-crease save to deny Mikko Rantanen at 13:38 of the second period.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

With the win, the Avs are the first Western Conference team to reach 20 wins this season and fourth overall (three Eastern teams have already met the mark). Colorado reached the 20-win threshold in 31 games to become the third-fastest Avalanche team (since 1995-96) to do so in a campaign, trailing only the 2013-14 squad (27 games) and 2000-01 club (28 games).

The victory gives Colorado 43 points (20-8-3) on the season to surpass the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Central Division and in the conference.

NOTEBOOK

Mikko Rantanen recorded his first multi-goal game since scoring twice on opening night on Oct. 3 vs. Calgary. His first tally stood as the game-winner, his third of the season which is tied for the team lead… Rantanen now has 20 points this season, the second time in his career he has produced 20 points in 15 or fewer games (also 11 games in 2018-19). Peter Forsberg (3x) and Joe Sakic (3x) are the only other players in Avalanche history to do so on multiple occasions (since 1995-96)… Valeri Nichushkin had an assist and is now on a three-game point streak, tying a career high (seventh time) and matching a season long as well, previously accomplished from Nov. 23-29. He now has eight points (five goals and three assists) in his last 11 games… Nathan MacKinnon is on a three-game point streak as well (one goal, three assists)… Colorado improved to 9-3-2 at home this season... The Avs are now 9-1-2 against Eastern Conference teams and has won three straight games versus Philly… The Avalanche and Flyers wrap up their two-game season series on Feb. 1 in Philadelphia.

QUOTABLE

Goaltender Pavel Francouz on the Avalanche holding off the Flyers in the second period: "They tried to come back, and I think a huge part of this game was we stayed patient. We didn't panic in that time, we stayed structured in our zone, we were trying to seal them out of the danger zones and we blocked a lot of shots and then we scored the second goal and it was huge for us."

BIG HIGHLIGHT

Video: PHI@COL: Rantanen nets excellent feed from in tight

IMAGE OF THE GAME

Hold me close.

ROSTER REPORT

Pavel Francouz started in goal for the third straight game… Returning to the lineup from injury, Nazem Kadri centered a line with Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen… Nathan MacKinnon was the pivot on a line with Andre Burakovsky and Joonas Donskoi… The Avs recalled goaltender Adam Werner from the AHL Colorado Eagles earlier in the day to be the backup… Vladislav Kamenev was a healthy scratch.

INJURY UPDATE

Nazem Kadri returned to game action after missing the previous three games with a lower-body injury… Goaltender Philipp Grubauer took part in the team's practice for the third straight day but missed his second straight contest with a lower-body injury… Cale Makar (upper body) missed his second straight game with an injury but skated in the morning on his own for the second consecutive day… Erik Johnson (lower body) remains out, and Colin Wilson (lower body) is out indefinitely after deciding to have surgery.

UP NEXT

Colorado wraps up its three-game homestand on Friday when it hosts the New Jersey Devils at Pepsi Center. It is the first of two matchups between the teams this season and the only one that will be played in Denver.

LINE COMBINATIONS

Based on start of the game

Forwards
95 Andre Burakovsky - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 72 Joonas Donskoi
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 91 Nazem Kadri - 96 Mikko Rantanen
11 Matt Calvert - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 13 Valeri Nichushkin
83 Matt Nieto - 17 Tyson Jost - 37 J.T. Compher

Defensemen
16 Nikita Zadorov - 49 Samuel Girard
27 Ryan Graves - 28 Ian Cole
48 Calle Rosen - 44 Mark Barberio

Goaltenders
39 Pavel Francouz
31 Adam Werner

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