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Duchene scores twice, Avalanche shut out Flyers

by Pat Pickens /

PHILADELPHIA -- Patrick Roy said he put Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene together for their youthful legs and stellar skating abilities.

The Colorado Avalanche players made their coach look wise Tuesday.

Duchene scored two goals, including one early in the second period set up by Landeskog and MacKinnon, to help the Avalanche to a 4-0 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.

"They were dominant," Roy said. "Every shift they were there. They had a lot of scoring chances. That was the reason we put them together -- I like the speed of the three of them together. I felt it was tough to play against them."

Reto Berra made 25 saves, Jarome Iginla and Cody McLeod each scored a goal, and Nick Holden and Carl Soderberg each had two assists for Colorado (5-9-1), which ended a two-game losing streak and started its season-long seven-game road trip with a win.

Roy went so far as to call it the Avalanche's best effort of the season.

"I thought we dominated from the start to the end," he said. "We managed our game well. We kept our shifts short. We possessed the puck. I was very pleased with our performance."

Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth made 36 saves in his fourth straight start. Philadelphia (5-7-3) lost for the seventh time in its past eight games (1-5-2) and was shut out for the first time this season.

"We didn't create enough tonight," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "We didn't spend any time in the offensive zone. I thought we got one guy on the puck and we were slow getting a second guy around it. That's particular to tonight. We weren't good enough in that area."

Philadelphia returned from a five-game road trip in which it played in all four times zones, including four games in six nights in Western Canada and Winnipeg. But the Flyers refused to use the travel as an excuse for their poor performance.

"We should be ready to come back to our building and play a good game," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "Our goalie played a good game. He gave us a chance to come back, and we didn't respond."

Duchene scored his first goal 25 seconds into the second period, capitalizing on some nifty cycling by his linemates. After taking a pass from Landeskog, MacKinnon circled the net and put a backhand shot on goal that Neuvirth stopped, but Duchene drove to the net mouth and buried the rebound, building Colorado's lead to 2-0.

"He's going to the net right now, and it pays off," Roy said. "Mac made a great play on that wraparound, but if you're around the net, good things happen."

Duchene scored again 3:19 later, this time with the help of a fancy stick play by Holden. The defenseman fumbled Tyson Barrie's pass but tipped it in the air at the blue line to keep it in the zone. He then fired a shot that handcuffed Neuvirth, and Duchene pounced on the rebound and scored his sixth goal, fifth in the past four games, to make it 3-0.

McLeod scored a power-play goal 2:04 into the third after Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas was penalized for roughing. It was his third goal.

Colorado grabbed the lead early when Iginla scored his 596th career goal 57 seconds into the game. Holden chipped the puck into the corner from the Avalanche half of the ice, but Iginla rushed to corral it and negate the icing. He flubbed his sharp-angled shot on Neuvirth, but it fooled the Flyers goalie and snuck between his arm and body for Iginla's seventh of the season.

The goal was the 1,238th point of Iginla's career, leaving him one back of Peter Stastny for 37th on the NHL's all-time list.

"It was a great bounce, or a tough break for them," Iginla said. "It definitely feels good to get rewarded."

The Avalanche controlled play after the early goal, and only Neuvirth kept them from adding to their lead in the first. Colorado had 15 first-period shots, including 11 of the final 12 in the period.

"I thought we were a lot better on the puck possession," Iginla said. "It felt good. It was a good road game. Once we got up, we didn't want to open it up or let them get some ice, we just played really strong."

Berra has also played well, boosting his save percentage to .943 after the 25-save shutout. Roy said he'll likely keep going with the hot hand as Colorado prepares to play at the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

"He's No. 1 because he is playing," Roy said of Berra. "If [Semyon] Varalmov plays the next game, he'll be our No. 1 goalie. Right now, we're very lucky to have two very good goaltenders, and they're both building up our confidence right now. Reto is playing well right now and is probably going to play the next game in Boston."

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