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Avs hold on to beat Panthers
Sunrise, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves, including 18 in the third period, to help the Colorado Avalanche fend off the Florida Panthers, 3-2, BB&T Center.
The Avalanche were very sloppy after building a 3-0 lead, while the Panthers were relentless and continuously peppered Varlamov.
However, the comeback bid fell short.
Florida outshot Colorado 20-6 in the final frame and Scottie Upshall lit the lamp twice. His second goal on a deflection came with 1:43 remaining and Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas on the bench for an extra skater.
"We didn't move our feet as much in the third as we did in the first two," said Colorado head coach Patrick Roy.
Ryan O'Reilly had a goal -- his career-high 19th of the season -- and an assist for an Avalanche team that welcomed forward Alex Tanguay back to the lineup after he missed 36 games with knee and hip injuries.
Colorado improved to 6-1-1 in its last eight games.
Thomas finished with 22 saves for the Panthers, who were seeking a third straight win.
O'Reilly gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead just 1:34 into the contest, the first on a three-game road trip. He tucked the puck home at the right post after a hard-working shift by Matt Duchene.
Paul Stastny scored on a backhand from the doorstep to make it 2-0 with 3:47 remaining in the opening period.
Colorado led 3-0 when O'Reilly threw the puck out front and Jamie McGinn put it behind Thomas with seven minutes left in the second period.
Upshall scored from the crease at 5:18 of the third for his 100th career NHL goal.
"We sat back in the first couple periods and watched their guys really carry the play," Upshall said.
The Panthers had won three straight at home against the Avalanche ... Florida won 4-1 on Nov. 16 in Denver ... Panthers rookie forward Aleksander Barkov missed the game with a lower-body injury ... Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play ... The Panthers have gone a franchise-record 12 games without a power-play goal.
01/24 23:37:48 ET