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POSTGAME 5: Snowed In

Giroux scores late, but Avs hang on for 3-1 win in Colorado

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

The injury-riddled Philadelphia Flyers fell short against a very good Colorado Avalanche team, 3-1, at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night. 

Matt Calvert scored once and Mikko Rantanen tallied twice as the Avalanche put a 3-0 stranglehold on the game. Claude Giroux cut the gap to 3-1 with 5:12 remaining in the game, but Colorado closed out the game.

Carter Hart played much better than his stats (3 goals against on 28 shots) would suggest, but absorbed the loss. Pavel Francouz flirted with a shutout for nearly 55 minutes and stopped 31 of 33 shots to earn second-star honors.

Three Stars:
1st: Mikko Rantanen (2g)
2nd: Pavel Francouz (32 of 33 shots)
3rd: Nathan MacKinnon (1a)

Mikko Rantanen scoring the second goal. Especially considering he had just been denied by an unbelievable save from Carter Hart minutes earlier, Rantanen's goal stopped the Flyers relentless charge and momentum they had built through the entire second period. Video: PHI@COL: Hart commits robbery with incredible snag

* The Flyers struggling with the pace Colorado dictated in a largely lopsided first period. Thanks almost solely to Hart, Philly managed to keep the damage to a 1-0 deficit at intermission. Shots on goal were 13-8 in Colorado's favor (shot attempts were 23-10). A failed clear by Robert Hägg and a deflected shot off the post produced a Calvert goal at 5:21.

* After Colorado had each of the last nine shots in the first period, the Flyers controlled the early portion of the middle stanza as they established a forecheck and some extended cycling to generate an 11-0 shot edge through 8:21. 

* The Flyers went on to have a 17-5 shot edge (27-8 attempt edge) in the second period. Francouz came up with several tough saves, including a couple on the Couturier line. However, the save of the period belonged to Hart -- a 10-bell lateral movement glove save on Rantanen off a 2-on-1 saucer pass from Nathan MacKinnon. 

* In front of the net, Matt Niskanen got caught in between two Avalanche wingers; Landeskog and Rantanen. Justin Braun pursued Nazem Kadri behind the net, and the Flyers forwards were behind the play. Rantanen was wide open point blank on the right side to take a Kadri passout and make it 3-0 at 2:31 of the third period. Giroux got the goal back on a centering feed by Voracek. The Flyers were unable to draw any closer. Third period shots were 10-8 Colorado.Video: PHI@COL: Giroux pots backhander from the doorstep

* In general, the Couturier line was fine and Flyers in general dominated the 2nd period, but the Hayes' line had a tough night -- they were out for all 3 against -- and the bottom six didn't get much going chance-wise except for a shift here and there where there were opportunities off Colorado turnovers.

* Jake Voracek recorded an assist - he has points in six of his last nine games, and leads the Flyers over that nine-game span with nine points (2g-7a).

* David Kase made his NHL debut tonight... He logged 7:47 of ice time, posted two shots on goal and had two hits...

* Kase also became the sixth Flyer to make their NHL debut this season, all of which have been forwards (Twarynski, Bunnaman, Farabee, Rubtsov & Frost).

* Ivan Provorov led the Flyers with 23:47 of ice time. He had three shots on goal, six total attempts, two hits and a team-leading three blocked shots.

* The Flyers travel to Minnesota to take on the Wild on Saturday night. Puck drop is 7 p.m. on NBCSP & 97.5 The Fanatic.

Video: Hear from Flyers coach following loss to COLVideo: Hear from Voracek, Kase and Hart following loss

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