In their last game before the All-Star break, the Colorado Avalanche rallied to tie the Boston Bruins late in third period before winning the shootout to earn two important points in the standings. Ryan O’Reilly tied the game with 1:45 left on the clock and Nathan MacKinnon scored the decisive goal in the shootout.

It was no surprise to get a low scoring result in a game featuring both last year’s Vezina Trophy winner – Tuukka Rask – and last year’s runner up for the award – Semyon Varlamov.

The Bruins (25-16-7) were playing on the second half of a back-to-back after beating the Dallas Stars in Dallas the previous night and their fatigue showed as the game wore on as the Avalanche (20-18-10) dominated the play with a 19-4 shooting advantage in the third period and overtime.

Colorado won the only other meeting between the two clubs this season, 2-1, in Boston on Oct. 13 when Daniel Briere scored the game-winning goal with just four-tenths of a second left in the contest.

Head coach Patrick Roy elected to healthy scratch Briere this time around in favor of dressing seven defensemen with Zach Redmond returning to the lineup after an 11-game stint in the press box.

David Krejci led the way for Boston with a goal and an assist to reach 400 points in his NHL career.

Jarome Iginla – who scored 30 goals last season for the Bruins last season – opened the scoring by banging home an Alex Tanguay rebound with three-tenths of a second left in the first period. The 37-year-old leads the Avalanche with 14 goals on the season.

“I didn’t even know that it was so close on the time,” Iginla said. “You know time is running down in the period and you’re just trying to go to the net.”

The Bruins took three consecutive penalties in the middle of the second period that surrendered two separate 5-on-3 advantages, but the Avalanche were unable to capitalize on any of their five power play opportunities on the night.

Torey Krug tied the game at 1-1 in the second stanza before Brad Marchand scored his team-leading 14th goal of the season to give the Bruins their first lead at 4:47 of the third period.

Coach Roy characteristically pulled Varlamov early and O’Reilly rewarded the decision by grabbing a rebound in the slot and firing a backhand top-shelf past Rask.

“In that time you got to go around the net.” O’Reilly said. “And lucky for me it came to my stick and I just tried to get it upstairs”

MacKinnon scored the only goal in the shootout as Varlamov turned away attempts by Reilly Smith, David Pasternak, and Patrice Bergeron to secure the win.

“It was an important game for us and it was important to win that game,” coach Roy said. “We were resilient, I mean down 2-1 late in the game, pulling the goalie. That was a great job by our guys to go to the front of the net – Everberg and McLeod. Mitchy put it on net and Factor picked up the loose puck in the slot area and put a backhand over the shoulder of their goalie. I thought we were resilient.”

The Avs have five days off for the All-Star break before they visit the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. Erik Johnson will be the Avs’ lone representative at the game, which is Sunday in Columbus, OH.

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

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