Sports

Iginla scores decisive goal in shootout as Avalanche beat Devils 2-1

  • Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly, center, fights for control of the puck in the corner with New Jersey Devils defenseman Adam Larsson, left, of Sweden, and center Travis Zajac, right, in the first period an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly, center, fights for control of the puck in the corner with New Jersey Devils defenseman Adam Larsson, left, of Sweden, and center Travis Zajac, right, in the first period an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • New Jersey Devils defenseman Andy Greene, right, drives Colorado Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod into the boards while pursuing the puck in the first period an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    New Jersey Devils defenseman Andy Greene, right, drives Colorado Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod into the boards while pursuing the puck in the first period an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Colorado Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod, left, is checked off the puck by New Jersey Devils defenseman Andy Greene in the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    Colorado Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod, left, is checked off the puck by New Jersey Devils defenseman Andy Greene in the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (The Associated Press)

Jarome Iginla scored in the second period and got the decisive goal in the shootout, Semyon Varlamov stopped 23 shots and the Colorado Avalanche beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Thursday night.

The Avs are now 1-1 on a pivotal three-game homestand as they try to remain in the playoff picture.

Andy Greene scored the lone goal in regulation for the Devils and Cory Schneider made 28 saves.

Varlamov recently tweaked his groin and sat out against Los Angeles on Tuesday, snapping his streak of 22 straight starts. The injury didn't appear to slow him down, especially in the shootout when he stopped two of three shooters, including Patrik Elias to seal the win.

Ryan O'Reilly also scored in the shootout for Colorado. Jacob Josefson was the only one to beat Varlamov in the shootout.

Schneider and Varlamov traded fantastic saves in overtime. Schneider came up big by stopping Alex Tanguay's breakaway opportunity. Moments later, Varlamov made a glove save on a shot by Jon Merrill.

Colorado went on a power play for the final 26.1 seconds after Eric Gelinas was called for a trip, but couldn't get anything past Schneider.

Schneider turned in quite a save with the Avalanche on a power play midway through the third period. Gabriel Landeskog worked his way down low and backhanded a shot into Schneider's chest. Schneider entered the game leading all goaltenders in shots against and saves.

Iginla gave Colorado the lead at 2:27 of the second when he gobbled up a loose puck in front of the net and lifted a shot over Schneider. It was Iginla's 582nd career goal in his 1,378th NHL game, which ties him with Joe Sakic, Vincent Damphousse and Dean Prentice for 40th place on the NHL's all-time games played list.

The lead didn't last as Greene tied the game at 14:12 when he lined a shot from the blue line. The puck was heading wide of the net, but appeared to hit off defenseman Zach Redmond and ricochet past Varlamov.

From there, Schneider took control. He stopped Daniel Briere down low with his stick and then denied Matt Duchene by sitting on the puck. Schneider even took a quick look behind him to make sure the puck didn't trickle in for a goal.

It didn't.

The Devils tested Varlamov early and often in the first period as they outshot the Avalanche by a 13-3 margin. Elias had the best chance when he got free at the blue line and skated in on Varlamov, only to send a wrist shot over the net.

There was a moment of concern for New Jersey when defenseman Jan Hejda tripped Mike Cammalleri late in the opening period and the left winger slid hard into the boards behind the goal. Cammalleri briefly went to the locker room before returning to the bench. New Jersey couldn't score on the power play.

Colorado struggled to generate any sort of offensive attack against New Jersey's stingy defense.

NOTES: New Jersey forwards Martin Havlat and Michael Ryder were scratches. ... Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said he's going to wait and see how Varlamov feels after the game before deciding whether to return backup Calvin Pickard to Lake Erie of the American Hockey League. ... Colorado beat New Jersey 3-2 on Nov. 15 at Prudential Center.