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game recap

Pickard's 38 saves lift Avalanche past Panthers

Goalie makes 24 stops in third period; Jagr ties Howe for points

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

Pickard preserves the lead

FLA@COL: Pickard keeps the Avalanche ahead in 3rd

3/3/16: Calvin Pickard denies a series of shots from the Panthers and keeps the puck out of the net during a scramble to preserve a 3-2 lead

  • 00:27 •

DENVER -- Jaromir Jagr got his 1,850th NHL point in the first period to tie Gordie Howe for third place in League history, but Colorado Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard made 38 saves in a 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers at Pepsi Center on Thursday.

Jagr caught Howe at 9:42 of the first period. He was above the right circle when he passed to Aleksander Barkov down low. Barkov slipped the puck through the slot to defenseman Erik Gudbranson for a shot that beat Pickard to tie it 1-1. It was Gudbranson's second goal of the season and first in 44 games.

Jagr's 48 points (21 goals, 27 assists) in 61 games lead the Panthers. He has 743 goals and 1,107 assists in 1,611 NHL games.

"It doesn't matter," said Jagr, who was in no mood to celebrate his milestone point. "We put ourselves in a hole, just pushing in the door, but the door closed."

Video: FLA@COL: Jagr's assist on Gudbranson's goal ties Howe

Pickard made 24 saves in the third period to help the Avalanche (33-29-4) end a two-game losing streak. Three of those saves came against Jagr, who had four shots, and Pickard didn't mind being a part of the milestone point.

"He looked good out there," Pickard said. "He was holding on to the puck, protecting it. He's one of the best ever. I guess it's not bad (to allow the point) when we get the win. A huge win for us."

The Panthers (36-20-8) are in second place in the Atlantic Division after the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-1. Each team has 80 points, but the Lightning have more regulation and overtime wins (35-30).

The Panthers applied plenty of offensive pressure in the third period, when they had four shots on a power play to start the period, the first eight shots and 13 of the first 15. They outshot the Avalanche 24-8 in the period and 40-26 overall.

Video: FLA@COL: Landeskog splits defenders for opening goal

"It was a good opportunity for me," Pickard said. "We really needed this win. We got a good start, and there was good energy in the building. Hearing the fans at the end, it gives me the chills hearing stuff like that after a nice win at home."

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy was pleased with how the first and second period went, but not the third.

"[Pickard] was phenomenal in that stretch," he said. "He made some key saves. The thing that I like about him is his swagger. He seems very confident right now in front of the net. He looks big and he's moving well. I love that intensity that he's bringing, the compete level that he's bringing on the ice."

Pickard's 24 saves were an Avalanche record for one period, one more than Roy had against the Edmonton Oilers and against the Hartford Whalers, each time in 1997.

Video: FLA@COL: Duchene nets great individual effort

"We had a great period, just a little bit too late," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "The young goalie made some great saves for them. It was a big two points for them. Early in the third period, we felt like we were going to win that hockey game, or at least get it to overtime, because everything was going our way."

Florida goalie Roberto Luongo made two big third-period saves. He made a glove stop against Nathan MacKinnon on a penalty shot at 13:13 after the Colorado center was hooked by defenseman Alex Petrovic, and then made a sprawling save on Jarome Iginla at 14:00 off a pass from Matt Duchene

Duchene gave the Avalanche a 3-1 lead at 4:55 of the second period with his 27th goal to match his career-high, but the Panthers made it 3-2 at 12:42 on defenseman Brian Campbell's sixth goal.

Campbell scored from the top of the circles after taking a pass from Jussi Jokinen, who was along the right boards. Campbell took a rising shot past Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog that sailed by Pickard's glove.

Video: FLA@COL: Boedker nets first goal with the Avalanche

Duchene spun around Campbell near the right-wing boards, skated into the slot, moved by sliding Nick Bjugstad and his outstretched stick, and beat Luongo to the blocker side.

The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead in the first period on goals by Landeskog and Mikkel Boedker.

Landeskog scored at 5:45 on a power play, 21 seconds after Petrovic was penalized for hooking. After accepting a pass from Tyson Barrie in his own end, Landeskog skated through the neutral zone, weaved by three Panthers and cut to his left. He lifted the puck inside the left post for his 16th goal.

Video: FLA@COL: Luongo flashes the leather on penalty shot

"I didn't really know which way I was going to go and the middle opened up," Landeskog said. "I don't score those goals very often."

Boedker gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead at 13:50, 4:08 after the Panthers tied it on Gudbranson's goal and Jagr's milestone point.

Barrie had possession on the left side when he passed across to Boedker, who kicked the puck onto his skate and chipped it by Luongo's left pad for his 14th goal. It was his first goal in 13 games and first in two games since the Avalanche acquired him from the Arizona Coyotes on Monday.

Video: Pickard backstops Avalanche past Panthers, 3-2

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