Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O’Reilly led the way with two points apiece as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 and collected two vital points in the standings on Thursday night in Glendale, Ariz.

The Avalanche (33-26-11) have now won four straight games on the road and six of their last seven overall.

Freddie Hamilton – who the Avs acquired at the trade deadline – scored his first NHL point with a marker midway through the second period that turned out to be the game-winning goal. Brad Stuart ripped a shot from the point and Hamilton redirected it past Louis Domingue.

Avalanche forward John Mitchell skated in his 400th career game. The 30-year-old has 54 goals and 154 points in his seven-year career.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s two goal effort wasn’t enough to get the cellar-dwelling Coyotes (21-42-8) a rare home win. The club has won just one time in their last 15 outings at home.

Ekman-Larsson started the scoring just 3:24 into the game as Arizona surged early against an Avalanche team that was coming off a four-day layoff. Sam Gagner made a nice pass through the slot and Eckman-Larsson quickly scored with a wrist shot.

Semyon Varlamov had to be sharp to keep his team in the game early and made 28 saves on the way to his sixth consecutive win. The Russian netminder has allowed just seven goals during his six-game winning streak.

After Varlamov staved off the Coyotes’ early surge, the Avalanche’s scoring lines provided two first period goals on back-to-back shots to take control of the game.

“They were important goals for us,” Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said. “You didn’t want to go back after the first period down by one goal. We wanted to play with the lead tonight and make it a lot easier on ourselves.”

O’Reilly scored first when his breakaway attempt that was initially stopped trickled through as Landeskog crashed the net hard for the rebound.

Then, Jarome Iginla released one his patented wrist shots after looking off the Coyotes’ defenseman on a 2-on-1 break to give the Avs a 2-1 lead.

Eckman-Larsson scored his second marker to draw Arizona within one at 11:53 of the third period on a goal that was equal parts skill and luck. The offensive defenseman impressively batted the puck out of mid air twice as he skated behind the net and then caught a break as it bounced off of Brad Stuart’s knee and into the Avs’ net.

Moments later, Dennis Everberg corralled his own rebound and fed Matt Duchene, who fired into a wide open net to reestablish Colorado’s two-goal lead.

“Those two goals we scored midway through the first period, I thought, were a key moment in that game” coach Roy said. “After that, we had some good chances. I like the way we played. I thought we played a good road game and I was very happy with the performance of the team.”

The Avalanche won’t get away with another slow start when they visit the Western Conference leading Anaheim Ducks on the second half of their back-to-back set Friday night.

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

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