The Penguins were defeated in Colorado Wednesday night by a score of 3-1. The Avalanche’s Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and two assists to lead the Avs to a win at the Pepsi Center.
Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves, including 12 in the third period, to lead his team to a victory against Pittsburgh, who had won four straight heading into a west coast road trip.
Former Penguin Jarome Iginla scored the first goal, a power-play goal coming 13 seconds into the second period. It was his 20th of the year. Later that period, Nathan MacKinnon scored his 14th of the season to give his team a 2-0 advantage.
The Penguins did not go down without a fight, however. The red-hot Evgeni Malkin pick-pocketed the Avs at center ice and proceeded to take it himself into the offensive zone, where he slotted it past Varlamov to cut the lead down to one.
When he tried to do a similar thing five minutes later, he had the puck stolen from him, resulting in Landeskog’s goal.
"That was a heck of a move,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said of the goal. “He made a real nice move in front of Pouliot. It was a great play by him. We played really well, especially the first two periods. They pressed a little bit hard in the third, but we responded well."
It was a huge win for the Avalanche, who are now eight points out of the second wild-card spot, behind the Wild. They have now won six of nine.
"It's a big win," said MacKinnon. "Our goal is 28 more points. We have 18 games left and it's going to be tight, but we feel we're confident this month that we can get some wins. We have to get rolling.”
Malkin seems to be putting the Penguins on his back. In the past six games, he has six goals and six assists.
"They kept coming, kept coming," Landeskog said. "Obviously playing a team with that much offensive skill, you have to be on your toes every shift. We let up one shift and Malkin goes down and scores.”
Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury played well, making 19 saves, but this time it wasn’t enough to grab a victory.