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Three third-period goals help Flyers top Avalanche

Gudas, Giroux score 19 seconds apart; Philadelphia remains in second wild card spot

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

Giroux gives Flyers lead late

PHI@COL: Giroux beats Varlamov for late lead

3/24/16: Claude Giroux settles a bouncing puck and beats Semyon Varlamov, giving the Flyers a 3-2 lead late in the 3rd period

  • 01:00 •

DENVER -- Radko Gudas and Claude Giroux scored 19 seconds apart late in the third period to help the Philadelphia Flyers defeat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 at Pepsi Center on Thursday. 

Gudas scored his fifth of the season on a shot from just inside the blue line with 5:43 left. Giroux retrieved a long rebound after Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov made a save against Wayne Simmonds. He skated to his right and scored inside the near post to break a 2-2 tie with his 21st goal of the season.

The Flyers (36-24-13), who are 7-1-2 in the past 10 games, remained in the second wild card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Detroit Red Wings also have 85 points, but Philadelphia has a game in hand.

"It was just a really big rebound there and I was able to go around and get it," Giroux said. "It was pretty fun to score that goal."

Video: PHI@COL: Gudas sends a blast past Varlamov to tie it

The Avalanche (38-32-4) are three points behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference with a game in hand. The Wild defeated the Calgary Flames 6-2 on Thursday.

"We can't get too hung up on this game, as much as it stinks," said Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, who had nine of Colorado's 34 shots. "To let pressure points slip away like that is definitely disheartening. You don't dwell on these things, you have to move on to the next game and that's what we are going to do."

Ryan White was credited with an empty-net goal with 4.8 seconds remaining when he was pulled down before getting a shot on goal.

Gudas has scored all five of his goals in the past 10 games after he was unable to find the back of the net in the first 57.

Video: PHI@COL: White taken down on breakaway, awarded goal

"It's awesome being a part of it and contributing for the team, especially for these important games at this crucial time of the season," he said. "It's a great confidence-booster. We believe in each other. Being down with six minutes to go, nobody was doubting us on the bench. It's a great feeling.

John Mitchell put the Avalanche in front 2-1 at 6:13 of the third with his 10th goal of the season and first since Feb. 20. Mitchell skated to the front of the net to deflect Andreas Martinsen's pass from the right corner behind Flyers goalie Steve Mason.

"There was no waver," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "We had played real well, other than a couple of minutes at the start of the second period. After they scored their first goal, we really started to turn the tide and turn the momentum. Guys just stayed with it and kept doing the same things."

Colorado's Nick Holden and Philadelphia's Pierre-Edouard Bellemare traded second-period goals after a scoreless first period.

Video: PHI@COL: Bellemare beats Varlamov with a tip in front

Holden scored at 3:05 to give the Avalanche a 1-0 lead with his first goal since Feb. 4 and fifth overall. Mikkel Boedker passed through the slot to Holden on the left side for a shot that banged off the end boards and caromed to Mikhail Grigorenko on the right side. Grigorenko's spinning shot hit Holden and bounced inside the right post.

Mason made two saves at 6:40 of the first while the Avalanche were killing a Mitchell hooking penalty. Mason stopped Shawn Matthias and used his glove to deflect Gabriel Landeskog's shot off the crossbar.

Mason had 32 saves; Varlamov made 44.

"I feel pretty energized," Mason said. "I feel like I'm right in the zone where I want to be and that's all I can ask for. It makes it easier when we're playing well and winning hockey games."

Video: PHI@COL: Varlamov robs Simmonds' rebound chance

Bellemore tied the game at 1-1 at 12:36 with a shot from the right point for his sixth goal.

The Flyers outshot the Avalanche 20-9 in the second and 18-9 in the third after getting outshot 15-7 in the first.

"I really liked the start of our game, the first period was outstanding," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "The first half of the game was really good. For some reason, the second half we didn't skate as well, started losing some battles and we turned over the puck quite a bit and we spent more time in our end. We are having a hard time to stop the bleeding when those things happen."

Video: Flyers score four unanswered goals in 3rd to beat Avs

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