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game recap

Avalanche end Ducks' point streak at 14

Colorado's Varlamov makes 37 saves for shutout

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

Varlamov stops 37 in shutout

ANA@COL: Varlamov shuts out Ducks on 37 saves

3/9/16: Semyon Varlamov shuts out the Ducks in a 3-0 win for the Avalanche, notching 37 saves in a dominant defensive effort

  • 01:28 •

DENVER -- Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves to help the Colorado Avalanche defeat the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 at Pepsi Center on Wednesday, ending the Ducks' 14-game streak without a regulation loss.

Anaheim (37-20-9) had gone 12-0-2 since a 6-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 8, its lone regulation defeat in 21 games.

"I feel pretty good," said Varlamov, who has two shutouts this season and 20 in his NHL career. "I don't want to talk about myself, how I played, to be honest with you, because I've been playing up and down. It was one of the best games for us this year.

The Avalanche got goals from Nathan MacKinnon, Andreas Martinsen and Shawn Matthias, and they killed three consecutive penalties while nursing a 1-0 lead. Colorado has killed 22 in a row in a seven-game span.

Video: ANA@COL: Varlamov deflects shot, puck trickles away

"The forecheck was big and the penalty killing ... Anaheim is in second place on the power play in the League, so the (penalty killing) was the key," Varlamov said. "It's a very dangerous team with lots of skill guys, so it was really important to play a solid game defensively."

Colorado (35-30-4) moved two points ahead of the idle Minnesota Wild into the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. The Wild have played two fewer games.

The Avalanche went 3-1-0 on a four-game homestand and play the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday to open a four-game trip.

"We had a big challenge in front of us and I thought our response was great," said defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who signed with the Avalanche last summer as a free agent after spending the previous five seasons with the Ducks. "We just proved to ourselves if we play the right way we can beat any team."

Video: ANA@COL: MacKinnon gets airborne pass, nets goal

The Ducks fell into second place in the Pacific Division, one point behind the Los Angeles Kings, who defeated the Washington Capitals 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday.

"We got away from the way we play," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We gave up more odd-man rushes in a five-minute span than we've given up in the last 15 games. You can't play up and down against a fast-skating team like these guys. We have to play with structure and have to have guys back. They got too many chances.

"It's our job to come out here and play the right way. You can't sit back and rely on, 'oh, we've won a lot' or 'it's about time' or 'it was due.' Those things don't really enter in my thought process."

Martinsen, a healthy scratch the previous four games, put the Avalanche ahead 2-0 at 17:19 of the second period for his third goal of the season and first in 31 games. He skated down left wing, accepted a return pass from Matt Duchene and cut through the slot before putting a backhand by goalie John Gibson's left pad.

"He gave me a nice pass and I had good speed," Martinsen said. "I tried to do a little fake and take it to my backhand. The net was open so I had to get it in. Happened pretty fast. It was a really good feeling seeing that puck go in."

Video: ANA@COL: Martinsen adds to Avalanche lead in 2nd

Matthias scored his ninth goal with 28.3 seconds to go in the period. Nick Holden took a shot from the left point, Carl Soderberg knocked the puck from the side of the net and passed in front to Matthias, who scored from point-blank range.

MacKinnon gave Colorado a 1-0 lead at 10:54 of the first period. Erik Johnson lobbed a long pass that MacKinnon scooped in the Anaheim end, outraced defenseman Josh Manson and shot past Gibson's glove.

"These guys are fighting for their lives and played a good game," Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said. "We didn't show up to play. We got to take a look at that game and figure out what we need to do better. We can handle losses, those are things that are going to happen. We're not going to win out the rest of the season. We just have to show up to play and support each other a little bit better. I don't think we did that tonight."

Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen sustained an upper-body injury in the first period and didn't return. He will be re-evaluated Thursday.

Video: Varlamov's 37 saves shut out the Ducks in 3-0 win

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