Varlamov makes 33 saves, Avs tops Devils 2-1 in SO

The Associated Press Updated: January 16, 2014 at 11:04 pm • Published: January 16, 2014 0
photo - Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn, left, fights for control of the puck with New Jersey Devils defenseman Jon Merrill in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn, left, fights for control of the puck with New Jersey Devils defenseman Jon Merrill in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER — Ryan O'Reilly had a goal and scored in the shootout, Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves and the Colorado Avalanche beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Thursday night.

Matt Duchene also scored in a shootout for the Avalanche, who have won three straight.

Cory Schneider stopped 37 shots and Andrei Loktionov scored for the Devils, who had their two-game winning streak stopped.

The Avalanche played without center Paul Stastny (leg) and defenseman Cory Sarich (back) for the second straight game. Coach Patrick Roy chose to dress just 11 forwards and go with seven defensemen against the Devils.

O'Reilly, double-shifting on the fourth line, opened the scoring at 8:55 of the first. He took a pass from behind the net from Patrick Bordeleau and beat Schneider with a high snap shot from the slot. It was his team-leading 18th of the season.

Colorado didn't need much offense with Varlamov in net. After stopping 46 shots in a 3-2 overtime win in Chicago on Tuesday, Varlamov had another strong game against the Devils. He made five saves on a power play early in the third and then made another on Patrik Elias' point-blank shot from the slot with about 13 minutes left.

Varlamov stoned Patrik Elias and Adam Henrique in the shootout.

The Avalanche nearly took a 2-0 lead on Duchene's wrister moments later, but Schneider made the save.

The Devils regrouped and tied it at 1 when Loktionov beat Varlamov with a slap shot from the right circle at 8:59.

Colorado had two good chances late in the third, but Schneider made a save on John Mitchell and Nathan MacKinnon shot wide of the net.

New Jersey's Steve Bernier nearly scored right after that when his shot skipped through the crease.

NOTES: Duchene celebrated his 23rd birthday Thursday. ... The Devils activated Elias and C Jacob Josefson from IR and assigned F Mike Sislo to Albany of the AHL ... Colorado sent G Sami Aittokallio to Lake Erie of the AHL. Aittokallio served as Varlamov's backup while Jean-Sebastien Giguere dealt with back spasms.

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