DENVER — The Avalanche have won a lot of hockey games because of their star players. And now they’re losing games because of the same reason.

Trailing by a goal in the third period, Colorado had one of its poorest stretches of turnovers and mistakes in recent memory and they all came from their best players. Superstar defenseman Cale Makar turned the puck over in the offensive zone, allowing Philadelphia to break in on a rare 2-on-0 breakaway. Luckily for the Avs, backup goalie Ivan Prosvetov was up to the task. Not only did he stretch his skate out to stop the initial shot from Cam Atkinson, but he held firm on the rebound from Joel Farabee.

“I read it well, I knew there were two guys coming,” the 24-year-old said. “So I made the first save and I knew there was gonna be a rebound so I was able to kind of stay in the splits and track the puck and cover the rebound.”

It could’ve been a crucial set of saves had Colorado managed to regroup.

But on the next play, two-way forward Valeri Nichushkin turned the puck over, which sprung Flyers forward Travis Konecny on the breakaway. he was hauled down by Avs top center Nathan MacKinnon in the crease and was given a penalty shot, which he scored on. The goal gave the Flyers a two-goal lead. The visitors scored again on the very next play, increasing their lead to three, eventually defeating the Avalanche 5-2 at Ball Arena on Saturday.

Makar, Nichushkin, MacKinnon — all making costly mistakes — all playing a part in the game getting away in the third period. And to make matters worse, Mikko Rantanen, Colorado’s leading scorer, saw his goal-scoring slump reach nine games after he failed to beat Flyers goalie Carter Hart on any of his team-leading six shots.

“The biggest thing that’s bothered me is we’re finding the rhythm of our game for 10-minute stretches and whatnot and then we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. That’s the way I see it,” head coach Jared Bednar said, assessing his team’s second straight loss.

The Avs fell to 16-9-2 on the season and 1-3-2 over the last six games. They haven’t held a lead in any of the last two games, which were their third and fourth losses on home ice.

“You gotta give (the Flyers) credit like they earned some of those,” Bednar said. “But our decisions on some of the scoring chances against and goals against right now, it just, it’s not good.”

Colorado surrendered the first goal for the second consecutive game. And once again, it came after it failed to capitalize on the only power play of the opening period. Philadelphia’s captain Sean Couturier was under pressure in the offensive zone but made a no-look pass to Konecny. The winger fired it past Prosvetov for his team-leading 15th of the season.

Prosvetov made 29 saves and earned credit from his coach for keeping the team in the game after his spectacular sequence against Atkinson and Farabee. Despite the loss, Prosvetov is confident his team will find a way to recover.

“It’s a long season. There’s going to be ups and downs,” he said. “But we just have to try to keep it level. So we’re going to bounce back.”

Konecny’s tally was followed up by a goal from his close friend, MacKinnon.

The team’s top forward has played some of his best hockey during this homestand despite Colorado’s current slump. Similar to Thursday’s goal against Winnipeg, MacKinnon used his speed to beat defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen wide before moving the puck backhand to forehand and beating Hart.

MacKinnon had very little space to make the play after getting a step on the defender but saw the puck bounce in after an initial pad save from Hart.

The goal was his 11th of the season and third in three games. MacKinnon has a goal in each of the first three games of the Avalanche’s homestand. It was also the eighth straight goal that he was involved in over the past four games dating back to Dec. 2. His 37 points lead the team and are tied for fourth in the NHL.

Philadelphia took control midway through the second period thanks to two goals in just over two minutes. First, Owen Tippett scored after a strong defensive play from Morgan Frost at the other end. Then defenseman Travis Sanheim fired a slapshot from the left circle and beat Prosvetov moments after Colorado’s top line failed to take advantage of a golden opportunity at the other end. It was two straight goals where the counter-attack burned the Avs in what seemed like a period that was getting away from them.

But Josh Manson had other plans. His second of the season kept the Avs within a goal heading into the final period.

Just 1:11 later, Manson, who assisted on MacKinnon’s first-period tally, was the beneficiary of a clean faceoff win by Ryan Johansen and shot it from the blueline with several bodies in front. The puck found the back of the net thanks largely to Joel Kiviranta taking away Hart’s eye with a well-executed screen in front.

The Avalanche failed once again to score on the power play later in the period — an opportunity that could’ve knotted things up before the break. They finished 0-for-2 on the man advantage.