Avalanche

O’Reilly Has Big Night In Avs Shootout Win

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Avs forward Ryan O'Reilly (credit: CBS)

Avs forward Ryan O’Reilly (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (AP) — Ryan O’Reilly scored the tying goal and then added another in the shootout to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.

O’Reilly, who also had an assist, lifted a backhander over the shoulder of Jaroslav Halak for the only goal in the tiebreaker. Milan Hejduk, who netted his ninth goal of the season in regulation, and Matt Duchene had already been stopped in the shootout by St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Semyon Varlamov, who stopped 35 of 37 shots through overtime, then denied Alexander Steen, T.J. Oshie and Jamie Langenbrunner to give Colorado a 4-0 mark this season in shootouts.

Kevin Shattenkirk and Patrick Berglund had goals, and Halak made 35 saves for the Blues, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. St. Louis is 7-1-3 under Ken Hitchcock since he replaced fired coach Davis Payne on Nov. 6.

With Colorado trailing 2-1, O’Reilly tied it at 9:34 of the third period with a wrist shot that beat Halak through a screen.

The Avalanche nearly won it with 10 seconds left in overtime, but Halak reached back at the last moment to keep Ryan O’Byrne’s shot from crossing the goal line.

The Blues struck first, taking advantage of a hooking penalty on Paul Stastny when Shattenkirk scored his third of the season 8:55 in. Jason Arnott found Shattenkirk alone above the right circle, and he flipped a wrister through a screen that Varlamov never saw.

Colorado tied it at 13:55 when Hejduk buried a shot past Halak. O’Reilly set up the play from behind the net.

Stefan Elliott of the Avalanche hit the right post, but on the change of possession Berglund scored with a backhander off a pass from Stewart at 5:39. Stewart drew the defense to him, leaving Berglund more space in the slot to maneuver and get off a shot.

NOTES: G Brian Elliott (10-1-0) is expected to start Saturday when the Blues host Chicago. … The Blues are 0-3 in shootouts. … Shattenkirk’s goal ended Colorado’s string of 14 straight penalties killed over four games. … Colorado was 0-for-4 on the power play.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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