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game recap

Varlamov makes 57 saves in Avalanche win against Hurricanes

Five players score to help send Carolina to third straight loss

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Semyon Varlamov made an NHL career-high 57 saves to help the Colorado Avalanche defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 at Pepsi Center on Thursday.

Varlamov set an Avalanche regular season record for saves, surpassing the 54 he made Jan. 6, 2015, against the Chicago Blackhawks. It ranks second in franchise history to the 70 saves Ron Tugnutt made for the Quebec Nordiques against the Boston Bruins on March 21, 1991.

The performance was quite a reversal for Varlamov, who allowed seven goals on 21 shots Friday in a 7-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

 

[WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Avalanche highlights]

 

"That was a really tough game mentally," Varlamov said. "I thought I had a good start to that game and then everything collapsed. It is what it is. There are no easy games. If you have a bad game, the next night you have to bounce back, so I had to forget about it and then just keep going.

"I feel not bad, actually. Sometimes you face 30 shots and you're exhausted after the game. You never know how your body is reacting."

Defenseman Patrik Nemeth scored his first career NHL goal in 118 games and had an assist for the Avalanche (7-5-0), who are 5-1-0 at home.

"To get the win is the most important thing," Nemeth said. "It's been way too long since I scored. My role is to play solid defense, get the puck out of our zone. If I score, it's great. If not, I hope I'm doing my other job well. "

The Hurricanes (4-5-2) took 60 shots but lost their third consecutive game (0-2-1).

"Well, I'd have to look at some of them," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "I know on the power play, the shots ... nobody at the net. A couple times we could've been at the net, in his eyes, and we weren't. If he sees it, he's a good goaltender. Looks like he's going to make the save."

The game didn't start well for Varlamov. Victor Rask gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead 55 seconds into the first period with a shot from the goal line that beat him to the short side.

Video: CAR@COL: Varlamov knocks away Teravainen's tip-in try

"Phenomenal," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "I thought he was obviously the difference in the hockey game. For him, it's his first game since his outing in Vegas so I think there was a little added motivation for him. He didn't like the way he played in that game. Tonight, he was exceptional. What more can you say?"

Colorado got consecutive second-period goals from Blake Comeau, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen to take a 5-2 lead. 

Comeau converted Carl Soderberg's pass at 11:25 for his second goal and a 3-2 Avalanche lead.

After Landeskog scored his fourth goal at 14:03, the Hurricanes requested a coach's challenge to review whether Nathan MacKinnon was offside. The on-ice call was upheld, resulting in a delay of game penalty for Carolina.

The Avalanche took advantage of the power play when Rantanen deflected MacKinnon's pass behind goalie Cam Ward at 14:58 for his fourth goal.

Carolina closed to 5-3 on Derek Ryan's second goal of the season at 17:34.

Video: CAR@COL: Landeskog cleans up loose puck in front

Carolina's Elias Lindholm tied the game 2-2 at 15:14 of the first period with a shot from the slot for his third goal after Colorado's Anton Lindholm cleared the puck up the middle.

The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead on goals by Soderberg during a delayed penalty at 7:31, and Nemeth at 12:21.

Soderberg tipped Erik Johnson's shot past Ward for his second goal, and Nemeth scored from the hash marks near the right-wing boards.

"I was kind of deep in the zone," Nemeth said. "We talked about getting pucks on net, that's what I wanted to do. There was a hole [near] the first post. Good feeling."

Video: CAR@COL: Lindholm wires home wrister from the slot

 

Goal of the game

Nemeth's goal at 12:21 of the first period.

Video: CAR@COL: Nemeth pots first career NHL goal

 

Save of the game

Varlamov stopped Jordan Staal at 2:55 of the third period. 

Video: CAR@COL: Varlamov slides across crease to deny Staal

 

Highlight of the game

Rantanen's power-play goal at 14:58 of the third period.

Video: CAR@COL: Rantanen, MacKinnon combine for PPG

 

They said it

"We always talk on the ice and in the locker room and I always tell them the most important thing for me is to see the shots. We knew that Carolina was shooting from everywhere. That was the key today, to see most of the shots." -- Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov

 

"We just talked the other day if we can score three, that's a pretty good number to be at. You don't want to be giving up three, four, five. That's what we did. Getting (60) shots ... we can't expect to be scoring five or six goals every night." -- Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk

 

Need to know

The Avalanche are 12-0-3 in the past 15 home games against the Hurricanes, 11-0-1 at Pepsi Center.

 

What's next 

Hurricanes: At the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ALT2, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Varlamov, offense leads Avs past Hurricanes, 5-3

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