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game recap

Rantanen helps Avalanche defeat Flyers in shootout

Forward scores to give Colorado third straight win

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Mikko Rantanen scored in the third round of the shootout, and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

Rantanen skated in, faked a shot, and dragged the puck around Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth to score on his forehand.


[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Flyers highlights]


"I tried once in practice and I went forehand that time too," Rantanen said. "This time tried to do the same. It's easier to finish the forehand." 

Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist, and Blake Comeau, Rantanen and Nail Yakupov scored for the Avalanche (8-5-0), who won their third straight. Semyon Varlamov had 33 saves.

Video: COL@PHI: Yakupov goes five-hole on Neuvirth

Rantanen left for a brief time early in the third period after getting hit in the mouth by the stick of the Flyers' Michael Raffl. He was fine except for a swollen top lip.

"I tried to counter-hit him but he got his stick up high," Rantanen said.

The Avalanche were playing with 11 forwards because Rocco Grimaldi and Matt Nieto were sick, so coach Jared Bednar said it made things easier when he saw Rantanen come back to the bench.

"I think we got fortunate there," Bednar said. "He took that shot and you never know what's going to happen. Turned out to be nothing so he's back on the bench. You never want to play two short there, especially when you've got back-to-back [game] coming the next night. [You] don't want to wear guys out. … [It] was a little bit concerning, but when he came back it was a little bit of a sigh of relief."

Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist for the Flyers (7-6-2), and Valtteri Filppula, Claude Giroux and Dale Weise scored. Neuvirth made 23 saves.

The Flyers came from behind three times this season to get one point, so despite the loss they remain a confident bunch.

"We get down a goal we don't just pack it in and feel sorry for ourselves," said defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who had an assist in his return after missing three games because of an upper-body injury. "… I think it's how we've been responding, that's the biggest thing. Our confidence level is through the roof because we just keep going and keep making plays."

Voracek tied the game 3-3 at 4:33 of the third period when he tapped in Travis Sanheim's shot that deflected off linemate Sean Couturier, but Yakupov put the Avalanche ahead 4-3 at 5:37.

Weise tie it 4-4 when he finished a give-and-go with Jordan Weal at 6:37.

Video: COL@PHI: Weise pots Weal's nice backhand pass

Colorado took a 3-2 lead in the second with two special-teams goals 43 seconds apart, starting with a shorthanded goal by Comeau at 15:30 and when he snapped a shot past Neuvirth's glove.

After Sanheim was called for hooking at 15:59, Rantanen tried passing the puck through the crease but it went off the stick of the Flyers' Robert Hagg and into the net for a power-play goal at 16:13.

Duchene gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal with 1.6 seconds left in the first period.

Filppula made it 1-1 at 1:21 of the second period when he redirected Travis Konecny's pass out of the right corner past Varlamov.

Philadelphia took a 2-1 lead on Giroux's power-play goal at 6:31. Varlamov stopped Gostisbehere's point shot, but Giroux scored on the rebound.


Goal of the game

Rantanen's goal in the third round of the shootout.

Video: COL@PHI: Rantanen fakes out Neuvirth for shootout win


Save of the game 

Varlamov made a blocker save on a breakaway by Travis Konecny with 42 seconds remaining in overtime.

Video: COL@PHI: Varlamov turns away Konecny on breakaway


Highlight of the game

Yakupov's goal at 5:37 of the third period.

Video: COL@PHI: Yakupov goes five-hole on Neuvirth 


They said it

"There's definitely a different feeling. I hate to keep going back to last year because it is what it is and it's in the past. We're early in the season here and it's a long season, a marathon not a sprint. The work has just begun. I like the way our guys are digging in and our buy-in is starting to come, trying to build an identity and get more consistent at what we do. We took another step tonight." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

"Thought overtime was good, but we didn't score a goal so it doesn't matter how we played in that overtime." -- Flyers forward Jakub Voracek


Need to know

Duchene's goal was his first in seven games. … Nathan MacKinnon had two assists to give him seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past three games. … Giroux's goal gave him 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 11 career games against the Avalanche.


What's next

Avalanche: At the New York Islanders on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; MSG+, ALT, NHL.TV)

Flyers: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, NBCSP, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)


Video: Avalanche top Flyers in shootout, 5-4

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