Avalanche beat Coyotes 4-3 in overtime
Posted at: 11/22/2013 12:35 AM
By JOHN MARSHALL
(AP) GLENDALE, Ariz. - Ryan O’Reilly scored a power-play goal with 41 seconds left in overtime and the Colorado Avalanche bounced back after allowing two third-period goals to beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 on Thursday night.
Colorado had been the NHL’s best team at holding a lead and entered the third period up 2-1 on goals by Andre Benoit and John Mitchell.
Phoenix turned up the pressure in the third period and went ahead 3-2 on goals by Martin Hanzal and Antoine Vermette four minutes apart.
The Avalanche fought back, though, tying it with 3:14 left in regulation on a whirling backhander by Cody McLeod that found its way through Mike Smith’s pads.
O’Reilly ended it in overtime, sending a wrist shot past Smith for his ninth goal of the season.
Benoit had three assists for Colorado, which has won seven of nine road games.
Michael Stone also scored and Shane Doan extended his points streak to seven games with an assist on Vermette’s goal for the Coyotes, who remain unbeaten in regulation at home (9-0-2).
Two of the NHL’s highest-scoring teams needed a little while to get rolling, playing a scoreless first period. Phoenix had some good chances in the opening 20 minutes, but couldn’t get any of its 15 shots past Semyon Varlamov.
Colorado needed 32 seconds of the second period and six seconds of a power play to break the scoreless tie.
Mitchell got it, ending up with the puck between the circles after a face-off and whipping it past Smith for his fourth goal of the season.
That didn’t bode well for the Coyotes; Colorado entered the game as the only NHL team that hadn’t lost after the first period at 13-0.
Paul Stastny nearly added to it midway through the period, but Smith made a spectacular save, sliding to his right then stacking his pads to glove the one-timer.
Benoit did get one past Smith later in the period on a shot from the point that hit the crossbar and trickled in after hitting the goalie’s back. Benoit was hit in the face early in the period, but returned with a bandage on his chin to score for the first time since last April.
Stone finally got the Coyotes on the board with a long-distance goal, beating Varlamov with a hard shot from just inside the red line that caromed in off the left post for his seventh of the season.
The Coyotes thought they had it tied 5 minutes into the third period when Oliver Ekman-Larsson beat Varlamov from the left circle, but it was waved off because David Moss knocked the Avalanche goalie over after a shove by Colorado’s Jan Hejda.
Phoenix kept up the pressure and Hanzal tied midway through the period, lifting a loose rebound over a prone Varlamov.
Vermette scored on a power play, but the lead lasted less than three minutes before McLeod tied it to send the game to overtime.
NOTES: Ekman-Larsson played his 200th career game. ... The Avalanche have allowed an NHL-low nine first-period goals this season. ... The Coyotes placed D Zbynek Michalek on injured reserve on Thursday with a lower-body injury. ... Colorado leading scorer Matt Duchene missed his second straight game with an oblique injury.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)