Varlomov stops career-high 57 shots, Avalanche beat Hurricanes, 5-3

Colorado Avalanche
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DENVER — Semyon Varlamov stopped a career-high 57 shots, Blake Comeau scored the first of Colorado’s three second-period goals over a 3:33 span and the Avalanche beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-3, on Thursday night.

Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen also scored in the second for Colorado.

Carl Soderberg added a goal and Patrik Nemeth got his first NHL goal as the Avalanche improved to 5-1 at home. Colorado now embarks on a four-game, 10-day trip that includes two contests in Stockholm, Sweden.

Varlamov rebounded from a forgettable game in which he allowed seven goals at Las Vegas last week. He preserved a 5-3 lead in the third by turning back 22 shots.

Victor Rask scored 55 seconds into the game for Carolina, which outshot the Avalanche, 60-27. Elias Lindholm and Derek Ryan also had goals.

The Hurricanes pulled goaltender Cam Ward with around 1:45 remaining, but couldn’t get anything past Varlamov. His previous high for saves was 54 on Jan. 6, 2015, at Chicago.

Colorado extended its lead to 4-2 in the second when Landeskog scored off a rebound.

The Hurricanes challenged the goal, contending Rantanen’s skate might have been offside as Nathan MacKinnon brought the puck into the zone.

The replay confirmed the goal and Carolina was assessed a delay-of-game penalty.

The Avalanche took advantage when Rantanen tipped in MacKinnon’s pass 55 seconds later to extend the advantage to 5-2.

Carolina dominated the tempo in the first period, outshooting Colorado by a 22-9 margin.

Rask ignited the Hurricanes with a goal before many of the fans even had a chance to settle into their seats. He scored on a crazy-angle shot that crept in between Varlamov’s arm and the post.

After Soderberg and Nemeth found the net for Colorado, Lindholm tied it at 2.

Absent for a third straight game was Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov, a healthy scratch.

“It (stinks) to be in the doghouse,” lamented Zadorov, who signed a two-year deal at the start of training camp.

Colorado coach Jared Bednar said he’s trying to find the right combination along the blue line.

“The plan moving forward is keep him working and help him get better,” Bednar said.

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