Paul Stastny and Jamie McGinn added goals for the Avalanche, who
bounced back nicely from a 5-2 thumping at the hands of the Toronto
Maple Leafs on Tuesday. Semyon Varlamov stopped 34 shots en route to
his 25th win of the season.
Scottie Upshall and Tom Gilbert replied for the Panthers, who failed
to capitalize on back-to-back road wins over Pittsburgh and Buffalo
earlier in the week. Tim Thomas made 22 saves in defeat.
O'Reilly opened the scoring just 94 seconds into the game,
corralling the puck after his initial shot caromed off the end
boards and tucking the rebound past Thomas for his career-best 19th
goal. Stastny made it 2-0 in the closing minutes of the period,
gathering a Gabriel Landeskog pass and beating Thomas with a
backhand to the glove side.
[to top of second column]
Colorado extended the lead with seven minutes remaining in
the second period as McGinn converted an O'Reilly centering pass
from point-blank range. Upshall ended Varlamov's shutout bid
5:18 into the third, beating him with a chip shot from in close,
and Gilbert made it interesting with a well-placed slap shot
that eluded Varlamov with 1:43 remaining.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Varlamov is one victory shy of equaling his
career high set during the 2011-12 season. ... O'Reilly has six
goals in nine January games. ... Avalanche F Alex Tanguay
recorded an assist in his first action since Nov. 2. Tanguay had
missed the previous 36 games with knee and hip injuries.
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