Duchene leads Avalanche over Devils 3-2
NEWARK (AP) -- Matt Duchene's tiebreaking goal in the third period powered the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.
Tied 2-2 with 2:53 left, Duchene tapped a loose puck past Cory Schneider for the game-winning goal.
John Mitchell and Erik Johnson also for scored Colorado. The Avalanche finished its swing through the New York City metropolitan region with a 2-1-0 mark. The Avalanche are 3-5-3 on the road this season, and 6-8-5 overall.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 23-of-25 shots in his third straight start.
Eric Gelinas and Martin Havlat scored for New Jersey, which saw its two game-winning streak end. They fell to 8-8-2.
Schneider made 27 saves in a losing effort. Schneider has started all 18 games for the Devils this season, and owns the franchise's second longest streak of games started by a goaltender to open a season. Martin Brodeur's 19 straight starts from Oct. 6-Nov. 2, 2001 is the franchise record.
Deadlocked 1-1 entering the third, both New Jersey and Colorado received goals from defensemen. Gelinas put the Devils ahead 2-1 with a quick shot off an offensive zone face off that cleanly beat the Vezina Trophy finalist. However, Johnson drew the Avalanche even at 2-2 with an unassisted off-wing shot that rolled through Schneider at 12:30.
The game remained tied until Duchene's game-winner - his sixth of the year.
Havlat opened the scoring 2:04 into the game with a one-timer of a rebound that Varlamov couldn't control. But the lead was short-lived as Mitchell tied the game six minutes and seven seconds after Havlat's goal with a goalmouth tap-in.
That was all the scoring either team could muster in the first two periods as the game was tight-checking, and the goaltenders were strong when tested. Schneider gloved Marc-Andre Cliche's odd-man rush drive 2:25 into the second, while Varlamov swallowed Gelinas' slap shot with 8:54 remaining in the period.
Both Schneider and Varlamov were aided by their penalty kill units. New Jersey killed both of Colorado's opportunities -including a four minute minor midway through the second when Gelinas was called for high-sticking Cliche -with the man advantage, and have killed 10 straight power plays. Colorado repaid the favor as they killed both of New Jersey's power plays.
NOTES: New Jersey did not have Adam Henrique (lower body), Jon Merrill (arm), Bryce Salvador (lower body) and Ryane Clowe (head injury) in the lineup. ... Damien Brunner dressed in place of Jordin Tootoo for the Devils. ... Patrick Bordeleau (back), Brad Stuart (hamstring), Ryan Wilson (shoulder) and Jesse Winchester (head) were unavailable to play for Colorado. ...The Avalanche scratched Dennis Everberg.
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