for this game

Coyotes slip past Avs

Mar 23, 2012 - 6:19 AM
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Raffi Torres posted a goal and an assist as the Phoenix Coyotes took a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

The win for Phoenix, which was in ninth in the Western Conference coming into Thursday's play, gives them 86 points. That is good for seventh in the Western Conference as the Coyotes are tied with the Kings for the Pacific Division lead, but the Kings hold the tiebreaker and lead the division.

Daymond Langkow and Kyle Chipchura each posted a goal for the Coyotes, who have won four of their last seven and have notched at least a point in six of those games. Mike Smith allowed two goals on 41 shots for his 100th career win.

"We need to grab all the points we can get and this was a big one tonight," said Torres. "Didn't want to give up those two in the third, but we got out of here with the win and that's all that counts."

Paul Stastny and Ryan O'Reilly each had a goal for the Avalanche, who dropped into the ninth spot in the Western Conference. Semyon Varlamov gave up all three goals on 25 shots in the loss.

"It's one of those games where we had a few turnovers and they took advantage of it," said Stastny. "But this time of year we have to find ways to win and tonight we didn't."

Trailing by three goals, the Avs made it a two-goal game just 4:28 into the third when O'Reilly skated behind the net and came out the right side before firing home a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Smith high to the far side.

Colorado then cut its deficit to one with 5:39 to play as a shot from the right point by Jamie McGinn was deflected twice in the slot, the last by Stastny for his 20th of the year.

The Avs later got Varlamov out of the net for the extra attacker, but were unable to net the equalizer.

Phoenix scored just 3:24 into the game when Langkow's wrister beat Varlamov for his 10th of the season.

At the 15:43 mark of the first, Phoenix took a 2-0 lead. Just as he crossed the blueline down the right wing, Ray Whitney chipped the puck down the slot where Chipchura caught up to the disc and shifted to the forehand before sliding it in.

The third goal of the game went to the Coyotes with 3:05 to play in the second after Torres shot home the rebound from the left circle for his 15th of the season.

Game Notes

Colorado came into the game having won five of its last six games...Colorado hosts Vancouver on Saturday...Phoenix plays in San Jose on Saturday...Phoenix took three of four from Colorado this season...Whitney has 996 career points.