Varlamov responds to Roy’s challenge, Avs keep pace in wild card race

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About the only positive things the Arizona Coyotes can probably say, at least from a big picture standpoint, is that they’re better off losing now.

Otherwise, Monday was a pretty brutal night for the Coyotes. They didn’t just lose the game to the Colorado Avalanche; Oliver Ekman-Larsson also suffered an upper-body injury and didn’t return.

The Avs, on the other hand, kept themselves in the thick of the race for the West’s final wild card spot with this 3-1 victory.

Technically, the Minnesota Wild hold that last wild card spot because they have a game in hand. Still, the Avalanche hold certain tiebreaker advantages if the Wild end their next game where both teams are right now: tied at 72 points.

Semyon Varlamov played brilliantly after being called out by head coach Patrick Roy, stopping 37 out of 38 shots.

Beyond that performance, it was a combination of quality finishing and good luck for Colorado, as seen on this goal when a would-be penalty against the Avalanche ended up instead being a goal in their favor: