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Matthew Tkachuk helps Panthers hold off Avalanche’s rally

Jan 10, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Florida Panthers defenseman Marc Staal (18) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews (7) battle for the puck in the first period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Tkachuk scored twice, including a go-ahead goal late in the third, and the Florida Panthers beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 in Denver on Tuesday night.

Sergei Bobrovsky turned away 27 shots for Florida, and Aleksander Barkov, Brandon Montour and Sam Bennett had a goal and an assist apiece.

Mikko Rantanen and J.T. Compher each had a goal and an assist, Nathan MacKinnon and Andrew Cogliano also scored goals, Kurtis MacDermid had two assists and Alexandar Georgiev had 31 saves for the Avalanche.

The game was tied when Rantanen went off for interference at 14:40 and Tkachuk made it sting when he scored on the power play at 16:30, his 22nd of the season.

Barkov gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead when he lifted a backhander by Georgiev at 9:07, his 10th of the season.

It was 2-0 after Bennett stole an Erik Johnson pass in the Panthers zone and fed Carter Verhaeghe, who skated through the neutral zone and into the Avalanche end. Verhaeghe passed it back to Montour, who beat Georgiev with a one-timer to the short side at 11:52.

It was his seventh goal of the season.

Florida struck again on a power play when Sam Reinhart got the puck off Samuel Girard’s stick below the right circle and passed it to Bennett in the slot, who flicked it by Georgiev at 13:47, his ninth of the season.

The Avalanche got one back late in the first when Cogliano tipped MacDermid’s shot from the right circle by Bobrovsky at 19:06. It was his sixth of the season.

The Panthers regained a three-goal lead late in the second period when Tkachuk got the puck at the doorstep and knocked it in at 19:08.

Colorado got back in the game in the third. Rantanen made it 4-2 when he scored on a wraparound at 6:29, his 27th of the year. MacKinnon scored just 20 seconds later with a sharp-angle shot through Bobrovsky’s pads for his 11th goal of the season.

The Avalanche had a goal disallowed for offsides at 11:07, but a minute later Compher scored from the slot to tie it with his eighth goal of the season.

–Field Level Media