Coyotes 3, Avalanche 1

Michael Kelly, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Center Antoine Vermette scored two goals, right winger Jordan Szwarz added a goal, and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 Tuesday night.
Goaltender Thomas Greiss made 29 saves for the Coyotes, who stopped a two-game skid.
Left winger Patrick Bordeleau had the only goal for Colorado, which lost for the third time in four games.
Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped 22 shots.
The Avalanche had plenty of chances to take the early lead, but Greiss was sharp. He stopped centers Paul Stastny and Maxime Talbot close in and defenseman Andre Benoit on a breakaway.
That came back to haunt Colorado when the Coyotes broke out on top on the power play after a scoreless first period. With defenseman Nick Holden off for interference, Vermette gave the puck to defenseman Keith Yandle at the blue line, charged the net and redirected the pass back from Yandle at 8:31 of the second period.
A little more than three minutes later, Szwarz made it 2-0 when he one-timed a rebound of center Jeff Halpern's shot.
The Avalanche showed brief life when Bordeleau scored. Phoenix defenseman Michael Stone's pass from behind the net deflected off him and then off the back skate of Greiss to make it 2-1.
Phoenix quickly responded, as Vermette scored off Oliver Ekman-Larsson's rebound 1:05 later. It was his ninth goal of the season.
Vermette couldn't get another goal, which would have given him his second career hat trick. His lone hat trick came April 3, 2008, when he was playing for the Ottawa Senators.
The Avalanche tried to turn up the pressure in the third period but the Coyotes -- and Greiss -- turned them away. Colorado outshot Phoenix 12-5 in the period but had few quality chances. They managed just one shot after Varlamov came off for an extra skater in the final minute.
NOTES: Coyotes D Zbynek Michalek returned to the lineup after missing nine games with a lower-body injury. ... Avalanche C Alex Tanguay (knee) was skating in recent days, but he experienced a setback in his attempt to return to the lineup. Tanguay, out since Nov. 2, has a hip injury that is related to his knee problem. He hoped to return by Saturday, but he will miss more time. ... Phoenix RW Shane Doan missed his second straight game with an illness. ... Colorado D Ryan Wilson (back) is skating, and he is expected to be a full participant at practice Wednesday with the hope of returning by the weekend. He won't accompany the team to Winnipeg for Thursday's game against the Jets.

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