All hands on deck in Avs win over the Flyers

Oct 6, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Colin Wilson (22) celebrates a goal with teammates Erik Johnson (6) and Alexander Kerfoot (13) against Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado’s 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday night featured offensive production up and down the Avalanche depth chart, with nine players adding at least one point and three players finishing with a multi-point game.

The depth scoring was one of the biggest questions marks going into the season, but a two-goal night from Colin Wilson and one by J.T. Compher helped the Avalanche improve their record to 2-0 against a strong and physical Philadelphia team.

“I think we are getting contributions from everybody all over the ice,” Wilson commented on the depth scoring. “Whether it’s offensively or defensively, I think everybody’s playing their game and just doing a great job out there.”

Wilson’s strong showing comes as no surprise as, so far in this year’s preseason and two regular season games, he has looked and felt better than the Colin Wilson of last year.

“I just feel a little more confident with the puck and at the same time, I’m on a great line right now,” Wilson said. “I think we are all finding each other really well so things are just clicking.”

“I got healthy in the offseason. I did a lot of work on the ice as well just to get my confidence back. It feels good to be making plays out there and be contributing offensively right now.”

“I feel substantially better than I did at this point last year,” Wilson concluded.

Per usual, the top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen added to the scoresheet as well. Landeskog’s goal was redirected off of a finesse saucer pass/shot from Nathan MacKinnon in the slot. MacKinnon added one of his own on a late empty-netter to seal the game.

Semyon Varlamov had another stellar night stopping 35 of the 37 shots he faced, most notably, a game-saving glove save late in the second period to preserve the Avalanche lead at 3-2.

“It was probably a key save,” Varlamov recalled. “We were leading 3-2 and there were 15 seconds left if they score we’d be 3-3, it’s a totally different game, you go into the third period 3-3.

“For us, it was a better moment just to go back to kind of regroup because I think we kind of sit back in the end of the second period and start making mistakes. We regrouped after the second period and pushed back in the third.”

The penalty kill was flawless at Pepsi Center Saturday evening as Colorado killed all three man-advantage attempts from the Flyers. The Avalanche have yet to give up a power-play goal this season and continue to build off of what was one of their biggest strengths from last year.

As any coach would, Jared Bednar thinks there is still improvement to be had saying, “I think we are doing the right things. We had a couple breakdowns tonight –it’s early in the year, we are still kind of getting in sync. We’ve got a couple new players in there, we were missing a good penalty killer in {Patrick} Nemeth who was out of the lineup tonight.

“You’ve got to be happy with the results we are getting. When we are giving up the chances, Varly looks really good in net and you need him to be in this situations. I think it’s good, but needs to be better.”

The Avalanche have now gone 20-4-1 in their last 25 regular season games, dating back to last season, and look to keep their momentum going as they head out on the road for a quick two-game road trip starting Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Avalanche will have Sunday off from practice and will head to Columbus on Monday following a morning ice session.

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