Posted December 30, 2011 on AP on Fox
Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves, Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 on Thursday night. Kevin Porter and Stefan Elliott also scored for Colorado, which went 8-1 at home in December. Mikkel Boedker had two goals, and Kyle Chipchura had two assists for the Coyotes. Jason LaBarbera stopped 32 shots in the loss. The Avalanche sustained a blow when center Matt Duchene left the game early in the first period with a knee injury. Duchene got hurt as he right skate got caught in the ice as he tried to deliver a check. He skated to the bench and went immediately to the locker room. Landeskog netted the winning goal after Chuck Kobasew did the dirty work. Kobasew battled Adrian Aucoin along the boards before floating a pass to Landeskog, who beat LaBarbera on the short side with 10:50 remaining. LaBarbera went off for an extra skater with 50 seconds left, but the Coyotes couldn't get the tying goal. Boedker's second goal with 2:21 left in the second period got Phoenix even at 2. The game then got chippy when Lauri Korpikoski ran into Varlamov, irking the goalie's teammates. With 1:38 left in the period, Raffi Torres hit Colorado defenseman Jan Heda in the head with a check while Heda was vulnerable. Heda was down on the ice for a few minutes before skating off with help from the Avalanche's trainer. Heda returned to the game in the third period. Phoenix's Oliver Ekman-Larsson was awarded a penalty shot when he was tripped by Daniel Winnik on a breakaway, but he failed to give the Coyotes the lead when his shot flew high and wide. Porter used good timing to put the Avalanche ahead 1-0. After serving a penalty for too many men on the ice, Porter jumped into an odd-man rush and redirected Paul Stastny's centering pass past LaBarbera 7:44 into the game for his third goal of the season. Boedker tied it 1-1 when he wristed a rebound over Varlamov's right shoulder at 12:31. Elliott gave Colorado a 2-1 lead when he skated into the Phoenix zone and beat LaBarbera with a shot from the slot with 4:32 left in the first. NOTES: Colorado has allowed three power-play goals in eight games. The Avalanche have killed 27 of 30 penalties in that stretch. ... The game marked the sixth set of back-to-back contests for the Coyotes. They are 4-2 in the second game. ... Kobasew returned to the lineup after missing eight games with a head injury.
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