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O'Reilly scores twice, Avalanche beat Wild 4-2

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 11, 2014 at 11:03 pm •  Published: January 11, 2014
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Ryan O'Reilly made sure the Colorado Avalanche kept up their strong play.

O'Reilly scored twice, including the game-winner with 7:16 to play, and the Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 Saturday night.

Gabriel Landeskog and Maxime Talbot also scored for Colorado, winners in five of seven. O'Reilly had his first two-goal game of the season.

"It's a big win for us. This is not an easy barn to play in. They play a consistent game and do a great job. They're very detailed and they make you play tough," O'Reilly said.

Colorado finished a season-high seven-game homestand Friday with a 4-1-2 record to strengthen its hold on third place in the Central Division behind St. Louis and Chicago.

"Tonight meant a lot of confidence for us and two points are big when we're going to an even tougher barn in Chicago (on Tuesday)," O'Reilly added.

Charlie Coyle had his first career two-goal game for Minnesota, which lost for the first time in five games, and is eight points behind the Avalanche.

"It's not like we played terrible that game," Coyle said. "We can learn from stuff, carry it over to tomorrow night and go from there."

Minnesota visits Nashville on Sunday.

Tied 2-2, and after Ryan Suter's uncharacteristic turnover in the Wild end, O'Reilly sent a pass to Matt Duchene in the right corner. Duchene sent the puck back to O'Reilly who lifted a backhand over the left shoulder of Niklas Backstrom from below the right circle. O'Reilly was back in the lineup after missing two games with a bruised shoulder.

"Everything was possible in the third," Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. "It was just a matter of sticking to what we were doing and playing hard. Both teams didn't want to lose that game. Both teams wanted to be patient, nobody wanted to make the mistake that could be costly for your team, and I thought we took advantage of it."

Talbot added an empty-netter with 1:10 to play

Colorado's Semyon Varlamov, 8-0-5 in his last 14 games (13 starts), made 25 saves in the win.

"He's probably been our rock all year and he's been a treat to play in front of. We've got a lot of confidence when he's in the net. When we blew that two-goal lead, he hung in there and calmed us down," defenseman Erik Johnson said.

Landeskog gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead midway through the second with a display of precision passing.

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