The Colorado Avalanche shut down Sydney Crosby – who didn’t register a shot on net in the game – and beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 on Wednesday night in Denver.

The Penguins (36-18-9) beat the Avalanche 1-0 in overtime in the only other meeting between the two clubs this season on Dec. 18 in Pittsburgh. Combined, the Avalanche (28-25-11) held the Penguins’ potent offense to just one regulation goal in their two matchups this season.

Gabriel Landeksog led the way in the winning effort with one goal and two assists to tie a career-high with three points. His line with Nathan MacKinnon on the other side and Ryan O’Reilly up the middle was the Avs’ best unit on the evening.

The game was Alex Tanguay’s 1,000th career regular season NHL appearance – 528 of which have come in an Avalanche sweater. He was honored with a ceremony before the opening faceoff.

Colorado’s Joey Hishon, meanwhile, registered two shots and two hits in his first career regular season game. He picked up one assist while playing in three playoff games with the Avs last season.

“I thought Joey Hishon played really well,” coach Roy said. “I thought we brought some speed to that fourth line.”

Semyon Varlamov turned away 23 shots on the way to his 20th win of the season while making his 20th consecutive start.

Jarome Iginla opened the scoring with his 20th goal of the season on the power play just 13 seconds into the second period. The 37-year old took a pass in the neutral zone, skated the puck across the blueline, and stepped into a cannon that beat Marc-Andre Fleury. Iginla now has 16 20-goal seasons in his Hall of Fame career. Iginla spent a short stint with the Penguins at the end of the 2012-13 season.

Nathan MacKinnon put the Avs up 2-0 when his redirection of Jan Hejda’s pretty pass slowly trickled into the back of the net. The goal ended up being MacKinnon’s second game-winning marker of the year.

Evgeni Malkin cut the Avalanche lead in half midway through the third period. He stole the puck in the neutral zone, broke into the offensive zone and got a shot on net, then buried his own rebound. Malkin extended his active point streak to six straight contests.

Landeskog reestablished Colorado’s two-goal lead with a beauty on a breakaway at 14:57 of the closing frame. The Avalanche captain undressed Penguins defenseman Derrick Pouliot and then beat Fleury with a quick snap shot.

“We played really well tonight, especially in the first two periods. [Pittsburgh] pressed a little bit harder in the third, but I thought we responded well,” coach Roy said. “Overall, I’m very happy with the effort of our team.”

Next up for the Avalanche is a visit to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday on the first night of a back-to-back set on the road. The Avs complete the back-to-back with a visit to the division rival Minnesota Wild on Sunday.

Nathan is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached on Twitter at @TheRealNatron.

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