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Avalanche get past Coyotes in shootout

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Despite all signs pointing the other direction, Matt Duchene knew the Colorado Avalanche would get a shootout victory on Friday night.

Duchene had three assists in regulation before scoring in the shootout and Semyon Varlamov, stepping in for injured Jean-Sebastien Giguere, stopped both Phoenix attempts as the Avalanche edged the Coyotes 5-4.

Colorado entered with only three road wins and were on their second goaltender of the night after Giguere left the game with 4:16 remaining with a groin injury.

That left Varlamov to face the Coyotes, who rallied to tie the score in the third period after squandering an early 2-0 lead.

"When he (Varlamov) is back there, you have absolute confidence that he's going to make the save," said Duchene, who slid the puck between Mike Smith's pads well in front of the crease.

Varlamov made a pad save on Mikkel Boedker during Phoenix's first shootout attempt and then poked the puck off Radim Vrbata's stick to set up P.A. Parenteau's clinching score.

Parenteau also scored in regulation for the Avalanche, who wrap up the season on Saturday against Minnesota.

Stefan Elliot, Patrick Bordeleau and Ryan O'Reilly also scored in regulation for Colorado (16-24-7).

Giguere exited after he pushed off his left skate to move across his crease but instead fell to the ice reaching for his left leg.

Antoine Vermette had tied the score 4-4 with 14:04 to go, slotting home a rebound off a Michael Stone shot for his second goal and the Coyotes' second power-play goal.

Phoenix (20-18-9) had not scored two power-play goals in a game since Jan. 24 at San Jose, the fourth game of the season.

David Schlemko scored his first goal in 18 months and Rob Klinkhammer also scored for the Coyotes, who finished 14-8-2 at home.

"I didn't like the whole game," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "There was no meaning. Even in an exhibition game you're evaluating players. Tonight, it was just playing and that's what both teams were doing. Just playing."

Schlemko gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead 3:17 into the first period, taking advantage of a screen by Paul Bissonette and scoring from the top of the right faceoff circle.

Vermette extended the lead to 2-0 at 8:45 when he took a drop pass from Keith Yandle and beat Giguere to cap a breakout that began with a pad save by Mike Smith.

Elliot began Colorado's offensive outburst at 13:45 when his shot deflected off first the left post and then the right before bouncing past Smith.

"Getting that next goal was huge," Duchene said. "If they get another one right there, it's probably over."

Parenteau added a power-play goal at 16:52 and Bordeleau scored a minute later, shoving the puck under Smith's left skate to make it 3-2.

"We got off to a bit of a slow start but they showed some pretty good resiliency in that first period," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. "It was a good test of character for the guys."

Klinkhammer tied the score 3-3 at 15:11 of the second when he bounced a shot off the goal line to the left of the net off Colorado defenseman Shane O'Brien and past Giguere.

O'Brien put the Avalanche back in front 4-3, taking a pass from Tyson Barrie at the top of the left faceoff circle and dropping down to beat Smith from the middle of the circle.

Smith made 24 saves for Phoenix. Giguere had 27 saves before giving way to Varlamov, who finished with six -- all in overtime.

The Coyotes finished the season with nine overtime losses, including three in their past seven games as they were trying to climb back into the Western Conference playoff picture.

"It's been a year where we played a lot of tight games," Vermette said. "I don't even know how many we lost in shootouts or overtime. But those extra points, at the end of the day it's adding up."

NOTES: Parenteau leads the Avalanche in goals, is tied with Matt Duchene in points and trails Duchene in assists by one. Parenteau is vying to become the third Colorado player after Duchene and Joe Sakic to either lead the club or share the lead in all three categories in a season. ... Schlemko's goal was his first since Oct. 13, 2011, at Nashville. ... Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. ... Avalanches alternate captain Milan Hejduk was among Colorado's four healthy scratches. ... Smith entered the game with an 8-1-1 record and a 1.42 GAA in his career against Colorado. ... The Coyotes entered the game 10-3-1 since 2009-10 against the Avalanche. ... Colorado was playing the first game of its ninth set of back-to-back games.
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