DENVER — Getting back on home ice was vital for the Avalanche to shake off their struggles following a 1-4-1 road trip. In their 26th game at Ball Arena, the Avs won their 21st, defeating the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 on Sunday in one of the stranger games of the season.

Colorado tallied the opening goal but needed to erase multiple deficits before scoring the go-ahead goal in the third period — a point shot from Devon Toews — to improve to 34-18-4 and collect its second win in three games.

The lengthy game took nearly three hours from puck drop until the final buzzer — starting at 4:08 p.m. local time and ending at 6:59 p.m. Three coach’s challenges and a penalty review added extra time to a matchup that saw two goals get waived off — one for each team — for offsides under a minute apart. The Avs were successful on their only challenge while Arizona succeeded with their offside challenge but failed on a goalie interference challenge earlier in the game.

“It was one of the weirder games,” forward Ross Colton said. “A lot of challenges, a lot of power play, a lot of penalty kill, and not a lot of flow.”

After the many stoppages, Toews’ go-ahead goal came with 6:43 remaining. Superstar forward Nathan MacKinnon hustled into the zone before passing it to linemate Jonathan Drouin in the slot. Drouin quickly tipped the initial pass back to Toews, who wired it through the traffic and goalie Karel Vejmelka for his 10th of the season.

The Avalanche entered the period tied up at 3-3 despite dominating the middle frame. They outshot the Yotes 20-5 and had six minutes of unsuccessful power-play time. Colorado scored two of the three goals but easily could’ve had more. Jack Johnson and MacKinnon both scored in the second period, erasing a one-goal deficit each time. Colton had the opening goal.

“We’ve had tough games against these guys all year so we know it was gonna be a tough game,” said Johnson, who also assisted on MacKinnon’s goal. “They’ve got some pretty good offensive players. The emphasis going into tonight was defending hard, which was something that we really tried to regroup on after the last road trip.”

The Avs were 0-for-4 on the man advantage. While Arizona, who scored its first goal on the power play, was 1-for-6. Colorado had 13 shots in seven minutes late in the second period. They were on the power play for six of them.

Alexandar Georgiev got the nod in goal, making 27 saves to earn his 29th win of the season. Georgiev allowed two goals in the first period on 15 shots and stopped 14-of-15 the rest of the way. He made several stops in the third to hold the lead but was shaky on at least two of the Arizona goals.

The Avs shook up their lineup, calling up forward Chris Wagner from the Colorado Eagles. Wagner centered the fourth line with Andrew Cogliano and Fredrik Olofsson on his wings. Center Ryan Johansen was elevated to the third line, flanked by Zach Parise and Joel Kiviranta. Forward Logan O’Connor remained out with a lower-body injury.

“I bet if you look at his shifts and what he did, he was rock solid,” head coach Jared Bednar said of Wagner.