Landeskog leads Avs to 3-1 win over Penguins

DENVER (AP) — Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and two assists, Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves, and the Colorado Avalanche beat Pittsburgh 3-1 on Wednesday night to halt the Penguins’ four-game winning streak.

Jarome Iginla scored 13 seconds into the second period and Nathan MacKinnon, wearing a shield to protect his broken nose, added a goal with his skate for Colorado on a night when Alex Tanguay played in his 1,000th NHL game.

Evgeni Malkin scored the lone goal for the Penguins. The Avalanche are 16-5-6 against Pittsburgh since moving to Denver in 1995-96.

Varlamov played in his 20th straight game and improved to 10-8-2 during the streak. He stymied Sidney Crosby and Malkin — two of the NHL’s top scorers — for most of the game, before allowing Malkin’s goal off a rebound midway through the third period.

Landeskog restored the Avalanche’s cushion when he got loose down the right side, cut into the middle and beat Marc-Andre Fleury with a wrist shot with 5:03 left.

Pittsburgh pulled Fleury with around 2:25 remaining, but couldn’t get anything past Varlamov.

Fleury couldn’t bottle up Colorado’s offense as he did on Dec. 18 in Pittsburgh, when the Penguins beat the Avs 1-0 in overtime.

Iginla got the Avalanche on the board in the second period before either team had time to work up a sweat. He took two strides inside the blue line and launched a wrist shot that beat Fleury for a power-play goal. It is the 16th time Iginla has netted at least 20 goals in a season.

Iginla also tied Bobby Clarke for 43rd place on the NHL’s career points list with 1,210.

Iginla’s goal wasn’t just advantageous for the Avalanche. By scoring in the opening 30 seconds of the second period, Iginla helped a fan win a new car as part of a promotion.

MacKinnon added a goal at 14:29 of the second, when Jan Hejda sent a pass in his direction. The puck bounced off MacKinnon’s skate as he got tangled up with Kris Letang.

The first period was dominated by the goalies as Fleury and Varlamov took turns stopping big shots. Fleury made a glove save on Tyson Barrie’s wrist shot early, and Varlamov countered by blocking Daniel Winnik’s attempt on a short-handed rush.

Pittsburgh bolstered its blue line at the NHL trade deadline by acquiring Ben Lovejoy and Ian Cole, who made their debuts Wednesday. This is Lovejoy’s second stint with the team, and he said before the game he feels like he is “right back into things. I like all the guys here.”

Tanguay was honored before the game with a video tribute in honor of his milestone game and received quite a few gifts, including a Tiffany crystal, watch and a silver stick. The 35-year-old Tanguay was taken by Colorado with the 12th pick in the 1998 draft.

He played his first six seasons with Colorado before suiting up for Calgary, Montreal and Tampa Bay. Tanguay returned to the Mile High City last season.

“Always a great moment in any player’s career,” Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. “It’s a special night for Alex.”

NOTES: Penguins D Christian Ehrhoff (concussion symptoms) didn’t play. “Just some issues that the doctors still want to be cautious with,” coach Mike Johnston said. … MacKinnon is looking for a new place to stay after Maxime Talbot was traded to Boston for Jordan Caron, who made his Avalanche debut. MacKinnon was living with the Talbot family.

This article was written by Pat Graham from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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