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Barrie, Holden help Avalanche defeat Panthers

by Alain Poupart /

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Tyson Barrie was 9 years old when he used to go to National Car Rental Center to watch his father play for a Florida Panthers team whose backup goalie was a second-year player named Roberto Luongo.

Fourteen years later, Barrie returned to the building, now called BB&T?Center, and played a big role in the Colorado Avalanche defeating Luongo and the Panthers on Thursday.

The 23-year-old son of Len Barrie scored and then assisted on Nick Holden's game-winning power-play goal in the third period of a 4-2 win.

"I???love it,"???Tyson Barrie said. "It's obviously a great city and a great spot. I???was 9, 10 years old when I was here. I was always around the rink and I was always in the locker room. I remember big (former Panthers player)???Pete Worrell, when he was here, he would shove me in the laundry machine, and it was a lot of good memories.

"It's nice to come back in this building and have some success."

Holden broke a 2-2 tie with 8:57 remaining and one second left in Brian Campbell's high-sticking penalty. Holden's wrist shot from inside the blue line deflected off the stick of Panthers forward Scottie Upshall, bounced off the ice and beat Luongo to the stick side with Cody McLeod providing a screen.

"You've got to know in the back of your head that time is ticking down,"???Holden said. "I didn't know obviously the exact time. We were just concentrating on getting shots through to the net and kind of get traffic and screens and that's what we did. We made sure we made our passes and then had good traffic when we were shooting."

Barrie had the second assist on Holden's goal after scoring his fourth goal of the season 2:11 into the first period.

The fourth-year defenseman, whose father closed his NHL???career with 60 games for the Panthers in 2000-01, took advantage of a defensive breakdown by the Panthers. After a pass across the blue line, Barrie was left alone to skate in and beat Luongo to the glove side with a shot from the slot.

"That was a huge goal on the road by him, his composure to take whatever they gave him, take that extra time and then roof it like that,"???Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla said. "Not many goalies are stopping that shot there."

Gabriel Landeskog scored for the Avalanche (19-17-9), who are 1-1-1 on a five-game road trip that will end against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday and the St. Louis Blues on Monday.

Iginla scored an empty-net goal with 27 seconds remaining; it was the 573rd goal of his NHL career, tied for 20th place with Mike Bossy.

"When I started, I???never would have guessed that, you're just trying to play,"???said Iginla, in his first season with Colorado after spending the majority of his career with the Calgary Flames. "I've been very blessed to play with some great players, great passers, and to play as long as I???have. It's been a lot of fun. I never would have dreamt that. It's pretty cool. I think it's neat.

"I???knew what a great goal-scorer Mike Bossy was. I???know that I???played a lot more games to get to that total than he did (1,354 to 752). He got 50 every year. What an impressive career, four [Stanley] Cups in that amount of time he played. I???definitely feel very fortunate to have played as long, to have played with good players and still be playing. I'm still having a lot of fun."

Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves for his 89th victory with Colorado, tying David Aebischer for fourth place on the Avalanche list. Coach Patrick Roy is first with 282.

Aaron Ekblad and Aleksander Barkov scored for the Panthers (20-13-9), who were playing at home for the first time since New Year's Eve.

The Panthers were coming off a season-long six-game road trip, which included their first three-game winning streak of the season but ended with an 8-2 loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

"I thought we played good,"?????????Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "I thought we worked hard and played good and were as good a team as they were, if not a little bit better. Disappointed to see that power-play goal happen late in the game. Overall, I thought we competed and played a lot better than last game."

Florida's prior home game was a 5-2 loss against the New York Rangers on Dec. 31 that followed an eight-game home streak with at least one point.

This was the first of a five-game homestand that includes two games before the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game, which is Jan. 25, and two games after.

"It's two games left," Luongo said. "Focus on the Saturday game (against the Edmonton Oilers)?????????first and foremost and make sure we have the same type of effort, if not better than tonight."

Luongo made 25 saves and tied Jacques Plante for 11th place on the NHL list by playing in his 837th game. Luongo was pulled in the second period of the game at Winnipeg.

Ekblad, the first pick in the 2014 NHL?????????Draft, made it 1-1 at 5:15 at the end of a 5-on-3. He scored just as Landeskog's tripping penalty expired with a shot from the slot that beat Varlamov low to the stick side.

It was the sixth goal of the season for Ekblad, the NHL?????????rookie scoring leader among defensemen, but his first in 15 games.

Landeskog gave Colorado a 2-1 lead at 12:02 of the second period. After winning a battle behind the Florida net with defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, Landeskog skated in front of Luongo and slid the puck behind the goaltender's legs.

"That second goal I've got to stop, that's a bad play by me,"?????????Luongo said. "The boys fought hard tonight, [I]?????????just need to be better to give them a chance."

Barkov scored at 13:25 when he redirected Brad Boyes' centering pass from the edge of the right circle. Jonathan Huberdeau had the second assist on the goal, giving him eight points in five games.

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