O’Reilly scores in OT, lifts Avalanche over Flyers | SummitDaily.com

O’Reilly scores in OT, lifts Avalanche over Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto, front, falls to the ice after being checked during a rush to the net for a shot by Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, right, as goalie Semyon Varlamov, of Russia, looks on in the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER — Colorado and Philadelphia appeared headed for a shootout when Ryan O’Reilly found the scoring touch that has eluded him most of the season.

O’Reilly scored at 4:40 of overtime and the Avalanche rallied to beat the Flyers 4-3 to end a two-game skid.

It was O’Reilly’s second goal in eight games. He is on pace for just 15 goals after leading the Avalanche with 28 a season ago.

“Scoring a goal and contributing to a win is something I’ve been missing a lot lately, so definitely to have that is a relief and something I’ve got to continue to bring,” O’Reilly said.

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O’Reilly got a pass from defenseman Tyson Barrie and beat goalie Steve Mason with a shot just under the crossbar. It was O’Reilly’s seventh of the season.

“It’s disappointing because we’re six minutes from grabbing two points,” Flyers forward Jakub Voracek said. “Just a couple of mistakes and it cost us the game.”

Semyon Varlamov had 26 saves and Jarome Iginla also scored for the Avalanche.

Claude Giroux, Vincent Lecavalier and Voracek scored for Philadelphia. Mason finished with 29 saves for the Flyers, who have lost three in a row.

“I thought we played a pretty good game,” Philadelphia coach Craig Berube said. “We’re playing pretty good hockey, (but) we’re finding ways to lose games. I thought we had the better of the play.”

Colorado had a 2-1 lead after two periods but Lecavalier tied it with his sixth goal 2:52 into the third.

Giroux gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead when he skated through four Avalanche skaters and beat Varlamov with a power-play goal at 10 minutes of the third. It was his 13th of the season.

“Giroux showed why he’s one of the top goal scorers in the league,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. “Against a team like this you can’t take bad penalties and we took a couple bad ones tonight we shouldn’t have.”

A tripping penalty on defenseman Braydon Corburn put Colorado on the power play 90 seconds later and Iginla tied it with his ninth goal at 12:48.

The Flyers got their first power-play goal in seven games in the first period.

They worked the puck around the front of the net to Voracek, who beat Varlamov with a high shot at 10:14. It was his 15th goal of the season and ended his first multigame points drought of the season.

The lead held until Nate Guenin scored at 10:47 of the second period. His shot from the point got through traffic and past Mason for his first goal of the season. It also ended Colorado’s scoreless streak that had reached 131:07.

The Avalanche hadn’t scored since early in the first period against Chicago on Saturday.

“It was an important one,” Roy said. “He put a puck on net and from the bench I just couldn’t believe that went through. Some nights you need different guys to score goals for your team and tonight was the case.”

Colorado’s next goal came a little quicker. Borna Rendulic, who was recalled from Lake Erie earlier in the day, beat Mason with a shot from the top of the right circle at 14:17 of the second.

It was Rendulic’s first NHL goal and it came in his fourth NHL game. He also is the first Croatian-born player to score a goal in the NHL.

“It’s a huge thing,” Rendulic said. “It’s not so much a big hockey country, so maybe a lot of kids are going to look at it on TV and say I want to play hockey. It’s really great. My parents have probably already called me 10 times.”


Philadelphia D Michael Del Zotto sustained a cut on his neck from the skate of Avalanche LW Daniel Briere on his first shift of the game. He left to get stitches but returned to the game. … Avalanche D Zach Redmond was a healthy scratch after playing in 22 straight games. … Flyers C Zac Rinaldo missed his fifth straight game with an upper body injury.

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