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game recap

Rantanen scores two goals for Avalanche in win against Flyers

Francouz makes 32 saves for Colorado, which is 7-0-1 during eight-game point streak

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Rantanen's tap-in tally

PHI@COL: Rantanen nets excellent feed from in tight

Mikko Rantanen drives hard to the net and taps home Nathan MacKinnon's centering pass to extend the Avalanche's lead to 2-0 in the 2nd period

  • 00:42 •

DENVER -- Mikko Rantanen scored two goals for the Colorado Avalanche in a 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.

Pavel Francouz made 32 saves for the Avalanche (20-8-3), who are 7-0-1 in their past eight games.

"In order to be consistent and to keep winning hockey games, you need above-average goaltending," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "[Francouz has] been really good all year coming in in relief, there's been injuries, and he's been good when given sporadic starts. Now he's been good stringing some starts together, so it's been great."

 

[WATCH: All Flyers vs. Avalanche highlights]

 

Claude Giroux scored, and Carter Hart made 24 saves for the Flyers (17-9-5), who have lost two of three but are 7-2-1 in their past 10 games.

"I liked our effort," Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault said. "We did quite a few things that should permit you to score some goals. We weren't able to capitalize on some of our real good looks, and that was the difference in the game."

The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead at 5:21 of the first period on a goal by Matt Calvert. Calle Rosen's shot from the left point hit the near post and caromed to Calvert, who backhanded it in from below the right face-off circle.

"I heard it hit the post and I tried to turn around to find it, and it ended up squirting out to their guy on the back," Hart said. "Just kind of a weird, broken play."

Video: PHI@COL: Calvert backhands juicy rebound into the net

Vigneault said, "I liked the way we started the game, and then they had that 10-minute unbelievable push in that first period. It's as quick as I've seen a team come at us. They got a quite a few looks, but after that I really liked our game."

Rantanen made it 2-0 at 16:05 of the second period when he skated to the net and redirected Nathan MacKinnon's pass from the left circle.

"Nate made a good play on the rush," Rantanen said. "He made a great pass to me driving to the net, and I tapped it in."

The Flyers spent most of the second in the Avalanche zone, outshooting them 17-5.

"We couldn't finish today," Philadelphia center Sean Couturier said. "The goalie was hot, and we maybe didn't have our best finish as we usually do. They were that much better in the execution part, but I thought we battled hard and created a lot of chances."

Francouz said, "It's a fun part of the game. I think a huge part of this game is that we stayed patient. We didn't panic in that time. We stayed structured in our zone trying to seal them out of the danger zones and we blocked a lot of shots. We scored the second goal, and that was huge for us."

Rantanen increased the lead to 3-0 at 2:31 of the third period. He shot short side from near the right post after receiving Nazem Kadri's pass from behind the net.

"We cycled behind the net, [Kadri] was there, and he made a quick play behind the net," Rantanen said. "I got two good passes for those goals."

Video: PHI@COL: Rantanen scores second with short-side tally

The Flyers closed to 3-1 at 14:48 when Giroux scored with a backhand from in front off a pass from Jakub Voracek.

"I would love to have a shutout, but if you told me in the morning we would win 3-1, I would take it," said Francouz, who is 6-0-1 in his past seven decisions.

Video: PHI@COL: Hart commits robbery with incredible snag

 

They said it

"I thought we played well at the beginning of the game, and then they gave it to us at the end of the first there. I thought we kind of took to them in the second and their goalie made some good saves. If a couple of those go in, it's a totally different game." -- Flyers forward Kevin Hayes

"If we play the way we can, we're going to win a lot of hockey games, but we've got to get a little more consistent than we've been the last two home games." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

"It's his first year, but it doesn't look like it. Every night he plays, he's dynamite." -- Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen on rookie goalie Pavel Francouz

 

Need to know

The Flyers played without forwards Travis Konecny (concussion) and Oskar Lindblom (upper-body injury). ... David Kase made his NHL debut after Philadelphia recalled him from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League earlier in the day. He played 7:47 at right wing on the fourth line and had two shots on goal and two hits. ... Voracek has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the past nine games. ... MacKinnon has 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in the past 12 games. ... Colorado is 9-1-2 against Eastern Conference teams.

 

What's next

Flyers: At the Minnesota Wild on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-N, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: Host the New Jersey Devils on Friday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ALT, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Video: Rantanen nets a pair to lift the Avalanche to 3-1 win

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