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O'Reilly lifts Avs past Panthers 3-2

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 24, 2014 at 10:52 pm •  Published: January 24, 2014
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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Ryan O'Reilly is on a roll.

O'Reilly had a goal and an assist to lift the Colorado Avalanche over the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Friday night.

O'Reilly wasted little time in making his presence felt. His goal came at 1:34 in. Matt Duchene missed a wraparound shot but O'Reilly grabbed the rebound and sneaked it past Thomas in the corner of the net to make it 1-0.

The goal was O'Reilly's team-leading 19th, a new career high, and his fifth in the past six games.

"If you put doubt in their minds, that's a huge thing. Getting a couple early is always going to set them back," O'Reilly said. "We started good and that start won it for us."

Jamie McGinn and Paul Stastny also scored for Colorado and Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves.

Colorado won for the fifth time in six games.

Scottie Upshall scored twice for Florida. Tim Thomas stopped 22 shots. The Panthers lost for the first time in three games.

Trailing 3-0, the Panthers scored twice in the third to make it interesting.

The Panthers made it 3-1 on Upshall's goal at 5:18 of the third. Tomas Fleischmann swept the puck from behind the net to Upshall in the crease. Upshall pushed the puck past Varlamov's right leg and into the net for his 100th career goal.

Tom Gilbert's slap shot with 1:43 left in the game from the point deflected off Upshall's foot and past Varlamov, who was screened on the play, and made the score 3-2.

"We were playing desperate. I thought we picked up our pace. We were kind of carrying the momentum," Upshall said.

The Panthers outshot Colorado 20-6 in the final period, including 15-0 in the last 13:13.

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