National Hockey League
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NY Islanders Islanders
ML: NYI -105
Colorado Avalanche
ML: COL -105
Goalie Performance
Thomas Greiss
#1 G Thomas Greiss
Semyon Varlamov
#1 G Semyon Varlamov
0.933 SV% 28 SV
0.971 SV% 33 SV
Scoring Leaders
Brock Nelson
#29 LW Brock Nelson Goals Assists 1 0
Marek Zidlicky
#28 D Marek Zidlicky Goals Assists 0 1
Mikhail Grabovski
#84 C Mikhail Grabovski Goals Assists 0 1
Francois Beauchemin
#32 D Francois Beauchemin Goals Assists 2 0
Andreas Martinsen
#27 LW Andreas Martinsen Goals Assists 0 1
Carl Soderberg
#34 C Carl Soderberg Goals Assists 0 1

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche waited too long to make a playoff push last season after a poor start and ended up on the golf course in April.

They're not waiting this year.

Defenseman Francois Beauchemin had his first-two goal game of the season, goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 33 shots, and the Avalanche beat the New York Islanders 2-1 Thursday night.

The Avalanche (16-16-1) have won a season-high four in a row and have crawled back into the Western Conference playoff picture after struggling the first two months. They reached the .500 mark in terms of points won for the first time since the fourth game of the season.

Colorado is three points behind Nashville for the second wild card position and didn't have a win streak longer than three games last season.

"It's early in the season," Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. "We're having a good month of December, 7-2, I think it's important to keep playing that way."

Colorado's resurgence is tied to Varlamov's play.

He is 4-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average during the winning streak and followed up his shutout of the Blackhawks with another strong performance and has stopped 138 of 142 shots in the last four games.

"I was struggling, but that's over now," Varlamov said. "I continued to work hard every day and I also got support from the coaching staff and from this team. Mentally, I feel stronger."

Goalie Thomas Greiss stopped 28 shots and center Brock Nelson scored for the Islanders, who lost for the second straight game after going 8-0-2 in their previous 10.

"It's just frustrating," New York coach Jack Capuano said. "There are games this year we've had no right winning, we come in here and play a real solid game and walk away with no points."

Beauchemin, who was knocked out of Tuesday's win against Chicago, showed no ill effects against New York and scored his fifth goal of the season with 3:48 remaining in the third period. He got the game-winner when his shot from the corner bounced off Islanders center Mikhail Grabovski, who was stationed in front of the net.

"I happened to get a rebound in the corner and just threw it in front with guys there, hit one of their guys and went in," Beauchemin said.

The Islanders (18-10-5) called a timeout with 1:48 remaining and pulled Greiss for an extra skater but couldn't tie it.

"I thought at the end, the 6-on-5, we had the personnel we wanted and we had a couple of chances but we couldn't bury one," Capuano said.

Beauchemin gave Colorado a 1-0 lead 3:48 into the game with his fourth goal of the season. He barely kept the puck in at the blue line, and his shot went over Greiss' right shoulder and caromed of the crossbar.

Varlamov continued his recent strong play by turning away the first 18 New York shots. The Islanders broke through on their third power play when Nelson's shot from the top of the right circle beat a screened Varlamov on the far side at 4:55 of the second period.

It was Nelson's 11th of the season.

"Really good screen there," Nelson said. "It was a good job by (center Anders Lee) helping spring back in front of the net and occupy one of the D and took away (Varlamov's) eyes. Just able to get it by him."

Both teams had great chances throughout the game. Varlamov made several saves on close-in opportunities when it was 1-1 to keep his team in the game.

Greiss didn't face as many shots, but he was tested. He stopped defenseman Erik Johnson on a breakaway midway through the third and turned away center Nathan MacKinnon at the doorstep.

He also caught a break when center Matt Duchene, the hottest player going for Colorado, missed a wide-open net in the second period that would have given the Avalanche a 2-0 lead.

Beauchemin made up for it with his late goal.

"The way the game was going with the teams trading chances you knew it was going to be one of those greasy goals," Capuano said.

NOTES: Avalanche D Francois Beauchemin was in the lineup despite the hard hit he absorbed from Chicago RW Andrew Shaw with about seven minutes left in Colorado's 3-0 win over the Blackhawks on Tuesday. Beauchemin appeared dazed and didn't play the rest of the way but said he did not have any concussion symptoms. ... Islanders D Johnny Boychuk was a third-round draft choice of Colorado in 2002 but only played four NHL games for the franchise before being traded to Boston in 2008. ... D Brandon Gormley and RW Chris Wagner were healthy scratches for the Avalanche. ... New York G Jean-Francois Berube has missed 10 games due to a lower-body injury.
Top Game Performances
NY Islanders   Colorado
Brock Nelson 1 Points Francois Beauchemin 2
Brock Nelson 1 Goals Francois Beauchemin 2
Mikhail Grabovski 1 Assists Blake Comeau 1
Brock Nelson 1 Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Thomas Greiss .933 Save Percentage Semyon Varlamov .971
Thomas Greiss 28 Saves Semyon Varlamov 33
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
NY Islanders 34 1 1-5 2-2 4 27
Colorado 30 2 0-2 4-5 10 32
Upcoming Games
  • Colorado will play their next game at home against Edmonton. The Avalanche have a W/L % of .400 after a win and .556 after a loss.
  • NY Islanders will play their next game on the road against Arizona. The Islanders have a W/L % of .556 after a win and .533 after a loss.