Varlamov's 29 saves lift Avs past Flyers 2-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 2, 2014 at 11:47 pm •  Published: January 2, 2014

DENVER (AP) — Semyon Varlamov came up big when his teammates needed him most.

It wasn't easy against one of the hottest teams in the league.

Varlamov stopped 29 shots, Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn each had a goal and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 on Thursday night.

Steve Mason also had 29 saves and Wayne Simmonds scored for the Flyers, who had their four-game winning streak stopped.

Philadelphia won the first three on this six-game road trip, scoring four goals in each victory but was stymied by strong goaltending by Colorado.

"Sometimes you run into a hot goalie you can't do anything about," forward Scott Hartnell said.

The Flyers tried, generating several chances in the final minutes only to be denied. Varlamov had several good stops throughout the game, including one on Hartnell with 3:24 left.

It was the second time Varlamov made a big save on the big forward.

Mason came off for an extra skater with 1:29 left and Philadelphia had several chances but couldn't get the equalizer against Varlamov.

"It seems that's the story every night," McGinn said. "We let him do his thing and we've got to put enough in because we know he's going to give his best."

Although Varlamov started his career in the Eastern Conference, he only faced Philadelphia twice before Thursday. He played as if he knew them well, sliding side-to-side to make big saves.

Down 1-0, the Flyers had a great chance to tie it on a power play in the first. Steve Downie got behind the Avalanche defense and broke in alone on Varlamov, but the goalie made a pad save to preserve the lead.

Varlamov denied Hartnell on a chance early in the second, and then laid out to deny Downie again on a power play with 12:54 left in the middle period.

"Downie almost got me with the backhand," Varlamov said. "He has great skill. I was lucky on that one."

Two minutes later, O'Reilly made it 2-0 when his shot went off Mason and over his head into the net. It was his 14th of the season.