DENVER (AP) — Alexander Kerfoot scored his first NHL goal with some part of his lower leg.
Doesn’t really matter which part — a first goal is a first goal and it’s a “great feeling,” he said.
Kerfoot’s goal and two more by Sven Andrighetto, the second an empty-netter with 1:34 remaining, helped the Colorado Avalanche (3-1) to a 6-3 victory over the Boston Bruins (1-2) in their home opener Wednesday night.
It was the second meeting between the teams in three days. The Avalanche beat the Bruins 4-0 in Boston on Monday.
Colorado broke things open in the second period, with Nail Yakupov, Andrighetto and Matt Duchene all beating goalie Tuukka Rask, who was replaced by Anton Khudobin for the third period.
Trailing 4-1 midway through the third, the Bruins made things interesting with goals from Tim Schaller and Torey Krug in a 1:27 span. Andrighetto and Tyson Jost responded with empty-net goals to seal it.
“Fun game,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “I know our players had fun playing it. The crowd was fantastic.”
In the second period, there was a scary scene for the Avalanche: Jost crawling toward the bench after taking a hit from Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid. Jost slid hard into the boards and McQuaid was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking.
Moments later, Andrighetto scored to make it 3-1. And when McQuaid stepped out of the box, Colorado defenseman Nikita Zadorov was there waiting to fight. They each landed several punches before being sent to the box.
Jost later returned to the game with his usual burst.
“It was just a dangerous play,” Bednar said. “Fortunately, he’s not hurt. To see him bounce back, our guys are pretty excited to see him come back out there.”
Semyon Varlamov stopped 20 shots to help the Avalanche start on the right foot at the Pepsi Center. The team went a dismal 13-26-2 at home a season ago when it finished with an NHL-worst 48 points.
Yakupov had three goals in the two games against the Bruins. A former No. 1 overall draft pick, Yakupov is trying to resurrect his career in Colorado.
Brad Marchand also scored for Boston, which has dropped two of three to start the season.
“We didn’t get anything going. We woke up a little too late, when it was 4-1,” Rask said. “Very tough game.”
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy seconded that sentiment.
“They were better than us again, the second time in three days,” he said.
Kerfoot scored at 8:19 of the opening period when a pass from Tyson Barrie appeared to bank off his leg and bounce over Rask. The 23-year-old Kerfoot signed a two-year deal with Colorado after becoming a college free agent in August. He was a co-captain for Harvard last season.
“To get a goal is pretty special,” Kerfoot said.
Duchene set up Kerfoot’s goal with a feed out front to Barrie. Duchene has two goals and three assists this season as he tries to keep his focus on the ice with his name being mentioned in trade talks since last season.
“Same message I’ve preached all camp and all season so far — I’m just here to be the best I can be for this team,” Duchene said after the morning skate.
Bednar will gladly take more of this from Duchene.
“I haven’t thought about Matt’s situation, his circumstances, whatever you want to call it, since we opened training camp, to be honest,” Bednar said. “He’s anchoring that line with Kerfoot and Yakupov, and they’re good every night. As long as they stay competitive and keep working like that, that’s all I care about.”
NOTES: C Patrice Bergeron missed a third straight game with a lower-body injury. Bergeron’s next one will be his 900th game with the Bruins. … RW David Backes remains out with diverticulitis. … Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon had two assists in the second period.
Bruins: Play the second contest on a three-game trip in Arizona on Saturday.
Avalanche: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Friday before traveling to Dallas on Saturday.
By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
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