Holden's 2 goals lead Avalanche past Lightning 6-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 2, 2014 at 11:03 pm •  Published: March 2, 2014

DENVER (AP) — Patrick Roy returned to the Colorado Avalanche to restore the glory years he helped forge, and he's enjoying the ride with a young team playing at a high level.

Nick Holden scored two goals, Ryan O'Reilly had a goal and an assist and the Avalanche rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3 on Sunday night.

Semyon Varlamov stopped 31 shots and Erik Johnson and Tyson Barrie also scored for the Avalanche, who have won two straight.

Roy helped lead Colorado to two Stanley Cup titles in 1996 and 2001 as the goaltender with a dynamic offense in front of him. Now as the coach, he's bringing back memories of that era.

"You ask me what reminds me of the Avalanche of the past, that's the type of hockey we were playing," he said. "And that's the way we're playing right now."

Those championship teams also featured goal-scoring defensemen, something lacking from last year's squad. Colorado's blue-liners had just five goals in 48 games a year ago.

The Avalanche got four goals from its defense Sunday, including Johnson's first in his return from a two-game suspension for a slash on New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen three weeks ago.

"It's tough sitting out, and to be able to come back and contribute and help the team win is fun," he said.

Johnson scored the go-ahead goal at 16:05 of the third when he pinched in to steal the puck and then sent a low shot past 6-foot-7 goalie Ben Bishop from along the boards.

"I know (Bishop) from St. Louis, and I shot at him a lot," Johnson said. "He's obviously a big guy and he doesn't give you a lot of room. Sometimes, big guys like that, you throw it at their feet and they don't see it."

Nate Thompson had two goals, Tom Pyatt also scored and Bishop finished with 29 saves for the Lightning, who had four penalties in the last 21:28 of the game.

"The penalties killed us," center Alex Killorn said. "Six minutes where we didn't play in their zone."

Holden tied it with a power-play goal at 5:12 of the third. It was Colorado's sixth power-play goal in the past three games.

Continue reading this story on the...