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game recap

Avalanche shut out Devils, gain in Western wild-card race

Grubauer makes 22 saves, Barrie scores twice for Colorado, which pulls to within four points of playoff spot

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

Barrie wires home loose puck

NJD@COL: Barrie opens scoring after MacKinnon's moves

Nathan MacKinnon weaves in and out of the defense before losing the puck in the slot, where Tyson Barrie fires home the first goal of the game

  • 00:53 •

DENVER -- Philipp Grubauer made 22 saves for the Colorado Avalanche in a 3-0 win against the New Jersey Devils at Pepsi Center on Sunday.

The Avalanche (31-29-12) moved to within four points of the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. They won for the first time in three games.

The shutout was Grubauer's third in his past five starts after he had none in his first 20 of the season.


[WATCH: All Devils vs. Avalanche highlights]


"We need wins, and that was a good step in the right direction," said Grubauer, who has nine NHL shutouts. "We can't hope for another team to lose for us to get in. We have to keep playing the right way. Every shift for every guy matters.

"The guys in front of me are making it really easy to see some pucks. Last period, we gave up [five] shots. We need wins, and it was a good win today."

Video: NJD@COL: Grubauer robs Rooney with sprawling save

Tyson Barrie scored two goals, and Nathan MacKinnon scored for Colorado.

"That was huge for us," Barrie said. "Obviously, we got our work cut out for us. We needed those two points and we got them and we go on the road for two big ones. I don't think we've quite lived up to our potential. We know we can do better. If we can string together 10 good games here and put some points together, we can get in."

Cory Schneider made 31 saves for the Devils (27-37-9), who have been eliminated from playoff contention. They went 2-4-0 on a six-game road trip.

"I thought we had some looks," New Jersey coach John Hynes said. "[Grubauer] made some good saves on the looks we had. We didn't generate as much as we needed to. We had some really good shot attempts and looks on the power play; unfortunately, we missed the net.

Video: Grubauer earns Sunday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

"We didn't give ourselves a chance to get second and third opportunities, which you need against a goaltender that's playing really well. A lot of our attacking wasn't where it needed to be. Then when we had looks, he either made big saves, or we missed the net."

The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead at 2:22 of the second period after MacKinnon stick-handled by New Jersey's Eric Tangradi and Colton White but lost the puck. It slid into the right side of the slot for Barrie.

Barrie made it 2-0 at 11:05 of the second. He took a cross-ice pass from Sven Andrighetto near the right-wing boards and took a shot that went in off two Devils, Damon Severson and Travis Zajac.

Video: NJD@COL: Barrie nets second goal off two defenders

"Cory, he had no chance on the second one, which was an unfortunate bounce," Hynes said. "Second period, we gave up a few odd-man rushes, he came up big, and when we got ourselves in trouble, he held the fort."

MacKinnon scored an empty-net goal with 1:34 left in the third period for the 3-0 final.

Colorado went 0-for-3 on the power play but killed four New Jersey man-advantages.

"Special teams are always important," Avalanche forward Derick Brassard said. "We gave them a chance a few times to get back in the game. Our [penalty kill] was strong, and our goalie was strong as well. It was a complete effort, and that's what we needed to build some confidence."

Bednar said he is confident the Avalanche can get into the playoffs.

"I have faith that we can pull this off, that we can do it," he said. "We're going to fight to the bitter end to try and get it done. You don't know how this is going to play out. We know we're behind right now and we're going to have to win hockey games. We don't know what the number is, you still can't tell. We just know there's some important games coming up."


They said it

"We didn't apply pressure. There were too many one-man forechecks and dumps where we didn't have pressure while we were changing or didn't have legs. We didn't get enough five-man pressure on them where we could keep some more pucks and get some second and third pressure. We knew they were desperate. They had they had lost the last two and would be desperate." -- Devils forward Travis Zajac

"(Grubauer) has certainly stepped up. You see how athletic he can be and how athletic he is. It was good to be able to help out and make sure some of his saves were easier as the game went on." -- Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole


Need to know

With 91 points, MacKinnon has joined Peter Forsberg as the only players in Avalanche history with back-to-back 90-point seasons. MacKinnon had 97 points last season. Forsberg had 91 points in 1997-98 and 97 points in 1998-99. … MacKinnon has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past six games.


What's next

Devils: Host the Washington Capitals on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: At the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET, FS-N, ALT, NHL.TV)

Video: Barrie, Grubauer lead Avalanche past Devils, 3-0

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