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game recap

Wilson, Varlamov propel Avalanche past Flyers

Forward scores two goals, goalie makes 35 saves for Colorado

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- Colin Wilson scored two goals to help the Colorado Avalanche defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist, Gabriel Landeskog and J.T. Compher scored, Erik Johnson had three assists, and Semyon Varlamov made 35 saves for the Avalanche.

"It feels good to be making plays out there and contributing offensively right now," said Wilson, who had six goals in 56 games last season, missing 26 games with various injuries. "I did a lot of work on the ice to get my confidence back. It's a good start. It's been two good games and I'm in a good position right now. I feel substantially better than I did at this point last year."


[WATCH: All Flyers vs. Avalanche highlights]


Mikhail Vorobyev and Sean Couturier scored, and Brian Elliott made 30 saves for the Flyers.

"They're a fast team," Couturier said. "They transition pretty well, pretty quick. They're a fast, fast team. A lot of their plays had top speed. It's definitely a game where you need to be ready to skate and match their speed."

The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead at 1:35 of the first period when Wilson put in the rebound of Alexander Kerfoot's shot.

"I was fighting for position, [Johnson] took the shot, Kerfoot was trying to get to it too," Wilson said. "He took a swipe at it, I took a swipe at it, and it went in."

Video: PHI@COL: Wilson earns second goal on power play

The Flyers tied it 1-1 at 7:30. Varlamov stopped Travis Konecny on a breakaway but Couturier converted the rebound.

Compher scored at 12:58 to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead. Defenseman Samuel Girard intercepted a clearing attempt and passed to Compher in the left circle for a one-timer.

Vorobyev scored his first NHL goal at 2:00 of the second period for a 2-2 tie. Varlamov left the crease to reach the puck off the end boards and defenseman Mark Barberio crashed into him, allowing Vorobyev to sweep the puck into the empty net.

"I think it's my fault," Varlamov said. "I told [Barberio] I got the puck and he didn't even see me covering the puck, so we got to work on the communication. I got to yell at him, 'I've got the puck, I'm going to cover it.' My bad. We're fine. We all make mistakes. Probably never going to happen again this year."

Video: PHI@COL: Wilson shovels home big rebound in front

Barberio was able to laugh it off.

"Bang, bang, I took him out, gave them probably the easiest goal of the season," he said. "We got the win and that's all that matters. I wasn't feeling too good when I got back to the bench, you feel like you let the team down giving up an easy goal like that. Guys were picking me up right away."

The Avalanche regained the lead 3-2 in a 4-on-4 situation when Landeskog deflected in MacKinnon's shot at 7:18 of the second while battling for position with Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim in front.

Wilson made it 4-2 on the power play at 16:21 of the third period, and MacKinnon made it 5-2 with an empty-net goal with 1:15 to go.

Video: PHI@COL: Couturier cleans up Konecny's rebound


They said it

"There's a lot of good, there's a lot to be worked on and that's to be expected at this time of year. I thought there were points there that we controlled a lot of the action but we didn't really get anything out of it. You got to take those good things, but I thought we could get to the net a little bit more." -- Flyers goalie Brian Elliott


"To start out 2-0 is exactly what we wanted to do at home. We've got a bunch of road games coming up and it's going to be a challenge. It's a new challenge for this group. We have to be better on the road this year than we were last year. Hopefully we can take a little bit out of what we did in these two opening games and build on it." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


Need to know

Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk sustained a lower-body injury when he was hit with a clearing attempt with 2:14 left in the first period. "I'm concerned that he wasn't able to come back," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "I don't know the extent of it. We've got to wait until we get back. We're at the end of a long trip here so we'll get home and figure out where everything is at." … Couturier played his 500th NHL game … Colorado is 20-4-1 in its past 25 regular-season games at home.


What's next

Flyers: Host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, ALT, NHL.TV) 

Video: Wilson, Johnson lift Avalanche past Flyers, 5-2

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