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Avalanche 6, Ducks 1

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Semyon Varlamov stopped 35 shots, Jamie McGinn scored two goals, and the Colorado Avalanche opened the Patrick Roy era with a 6-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.

Ryan O'Reilly and Steve Downie each had a goal and an assist, and Matt Duchene and John Mitchell also scored for the Avalanche.

Jakob Silfverberg scored for the Ducks, breaking up Varmlamov's shutout bid with 6.4 seconds to play.

Alex Tanguay recorded three assists in his first game with Colorado in seven years. First-overall draft pick Nathan MacKinnon assisted on both McGinn goals in his NHL debut.

Roy took over as head coach and vice president of hockey operations after the Avalanche missed the playoffs last spring for the fourth time in five seasons.

The Ducks, a perennial playoff team with Stanley Cup aspirations, endured a rough start to their season, Teemu Selanne's last. The franchise icon said he would retire at the end of his 22nd season, but his farewell tour got off to a rocky beginning.

Anaheim committed two costly turnovers that led to goals and nearly got blanked by Varlamov, who was looking for his 12th career shutout.

Viktor Fasth, shaky in the Anaheim net, made 23 saves.

O'Reilly got the first goal when he stole a pass from Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin at the Anaheim blue line and beat Fasth with a low shot at 15:39 of the first period.

The Avalanche broke it open in the second. Downie gave Colorado a two-goal lead midway through the second when he knocked in the rebound of an O'Reilly shot.

Less than two minutes later, Mitchell scored on a 2-on-1 to give the Avalanche a 3-0 lead.

Corey Perry had a chance to cut into the lead when he was alone in front of the Colorado net, but Varlamov stoned him on a wrister to keep it a three-goal lead.

Minutes later, McGinn made it 4-0 at 17:20 of the second period.

The Ducks controlled the play in the third, but McGinn and Duchene sealed the result.

NOTES: Ducks LW Dustin Penner was a healthy scratch. Patrick Maroon took his place in the lineup. ... MacKinnon is the youngest player to take the ice in franchise history. At 18 years, 31 days, he was 200 days younger than Owen Nolan when Nolan debuted in 1990. Besides getting his first NHL points, MacKinnon drew a two-minute minor for roughing ahead of Mitchell's goal. ... Anaheim F Emerson Etem did not make the trip due to a lower-body injury. ... Avalanche D Ryan Wilson is on injured reserve due to a knee injury. ... The Avalanche/Nordiques are a league-best 19-8-7 on opening night since joining the NHL in 1979-80.
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