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Varlamov responds to Roy’s challenge, Avs keep pace in wild card race

The Avalanche remain in the hunt for a wild card spot with the 3-1 win over the Coyotes. Colorado put up three unanswered goals before Arizona climbed back with one while Semyon Varlamov stopped 37 of 38 shots.

About the only positive things the Arizona Coyotes can probably say, at least from a big picture standpoint, is that they’re better off losing now.

Otherwise, Monday was a pretty brutal night for the Coyotes. They didn’t just lose the game to the Colorado Avalanche; Oliver Ekman-Larsson also suffered an upper-body injury and didn’t return.

The Avs, on the other hand, kept themselves in the thick of the race for the West’s final wild card spot with this 3-1 victory.

Technically, the Minnesota Wild hold that last wild card spot because they have a game in hand. Still, the Avalanche hold certain tiebreaker advantages if the Wild end their next game where both teams are right now: tied at 72 points.

Semyon Varlamov played brilliantly after being called out by head coach Patrick Roy, stopping 37 out of 38 shots.

Beyond that performance, it was a combination of quality finishing and good luck for Colorado, as seen on this goal when a would-be penalty against the Avalanche ended up instead being a goal in their favor: