for this game

Bennett scores 2 goals, Pens rally past Avs 4-2

Dec 10, 2015 - 7:10 AM DENVER (AP) The Pittsburgh Penguins were scrambling to stay in the game early in the third period.

Minutes later, they were celebrating a season sweep of the Colorado Avalanche.

Beau Bennett and Olli Maatta combined for three goals in 3:24 after Pittsburgh killed off Colorado's two-man advantage during the third period, and the Penguins rallied to win 4-2 on Wednesday night.

Bennett had two goals during the flurry and Maatta scored the winner. Maatta also had an assist.

''It's great to win with the boys,'' Bennett said. ''I thought we played pretty good all night long and luckily we were rewarded in the end. We just have to continue and go on a little bit of a streak here.''

Bennett tied it at 2 with a backhander at 7:19 of the third, and Maatta put Pittsburgh ahead 2:05 later when his sharp-angle shot went off goalie Reto Berra and popped up in the air. The puck hit the crossbar and went off Colorado's John Mitchell and into the net.

The goal was upheld on review, but Colorado's Patrick Roy issued a coach's challenge. The goal stood on the second review, too.

''This is a call that should go to Toronto, not the referees on the ice,'' Roy said. ''Why? Because you're watching some games and you see the same call and they disallow the goal. There's not enough consistency and I think we need consistency in those calls and know exactly what it is, what should be goalie interference and not?''

Maatta wasn't sure his goal would stand.

''I had no idea what was going on in there,'' he said. ''You never know, but I was hoping for the best.''

Bennett scored his second of the night and fifth of the season 1:19 later.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves for Pittsburgh, and Matt Cullen also scored.

Matt Duchene and Erik Johnson scored first-period goals for the Avalanche. Berra finished with 29 saves.

The Penguins nearly duplicated their win against Colorado in Pittsburgh last month. They scored three times in a span of 2:08 during the second period to beat the Avalanche 4-3 on Nov. 19.

Duchene kept up his strong play with his 14th goal in the last 18 games. He gave Colorado a 1-0 lead when he picked up a loose puck in the left circle and beat Fleury with a shot to the far post 5:43 into the game.

It was Duchene's team-leading 15th of the season.

Cullen tied it at 10:56 when he deflected a shot from the point for his third goal of the season.

The Avalanche got the lead back at the 15-minute mark when Johnson carried the puck into the Pittsburgh end, floated a pass to Carl Soderberg and then redirected the return pass. It was his fifth of the season.

Colorado had a chance to extend the lead with its 5-on-3 power play early in the third, but the Penguins killed off both penalties.

''The second period we controlled the play below the circles and the offensive zone,'' Pittsburgh coach Mike Johnston said. ''Then you get a penalty and you get a 5-on-3 call and all of a sudden now you've got a monstrous penalty kill. I think that was the turning point in the game.''

The Penguins played a day after forward Pascal Dupuis announced he was retiring because of a medical condition related to blood clots. The 36-year-old Dupuis played in 18 games this season and 16 in 2014-15 due to blood clots.

NOTES: Patric Hornqvist had two assists for Pittsburgh. ... Avalanche RW Gabriel Landeskog was a late scratch with a back injury. Roy said Landeskog complained of back spasms after the morning skate. ''He came back tonight before the game and didn't look good at all,'' Roy said. C Mikhail Grigorenko took Landeskog's place on the top line before shifting to the fourth line. ... Penguins D Kris Letang returned to the lineup after missing the past two games with an undisclosed injury.