Varlamov stops 37 shots, Avalanche beat Ducks 3-0

Semyon Varlamov stopped 37 shots, Nathan MacKinnon got his 21st goal and the Colorado Avalanche beat Anaheim 3-0 Wednesday night to end the Ducks' 14-game point streak.

Andreas Martinsen and Shawn Matthias also scored to help the Avalanche earn a critical win. They're in a heated race with Minnesota for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The Ducks have now dropped two straight for the first time since December and ended a six-game road winning streak.

Anaheim goaltender John Gibson had a rare off night. He entered tied for the league-lead with a 2.04 goals-against average, but stopped just 23 of 26 shots.

Colorado has outscored Anaheim 6-0 in two meetings this season.

Things got a little chippy in the waning seconds when Colorado defenseman Francois Beauchemin and Anaheim forward Jamie McGinn exchanged shoves. Beauchemin played parts of nine seasons with Anaheim while McGinn used to play for Colorado.

Martinsen returned to the lineup after not playing the last four games. He took a pass from Matt Duchene and beat Gibson with a backhanded shot. It was Martinsen's first goal since Dec. 12.

With 28.3 seconds remaining in the second period, Matthias knocked in a pass from Carl Soderberg. Matthias has three goals since being acquired from Toronto on Feb. 21.

Matthias nearly had another goal early in the third period when he took a long pass at the blue line on a breakaway and beat Gibson with a shot. The officials ruled Matthias was offside, but replays seemed to indicate his skate might have been on the blue line when he entered the zone.

No matter, the three-goal cushion was more than enough for Varlamov. One of his best of the night was in the second period when he redirected a tip by David Perron just wide of the goal.

It was Varlamov's second solid start after a recent rash of subpar performances led to a few starts for backup Calvin Pickard. Hall of Fame goaltender turned coach Patrick Roy said he never lost confidence in Varlamov but needed him to be more consistent.

Colorado scored midway through the first when Erik Johnson lofted the puck from blue line to blue line, where a speeding MacKinnon quickly settled it onto his stick with defenseman Josh Manson draped on him. MacKinnon was able to lift the puck over Gibson's glove for his 21st goal of the season.

Before MacKinnon's goal, Gibson made two sensational saves — one with his stomach to stop MacKinnon's liner and another by using his right pad on a shot from Matt Duchene.

Strong goaltending is nothing new for the Ducks, who are the only team with both of their net-minders ranked in the top-10 this season in goals-against average. Frederik Andersen is ninth (2.21 GAA).

NOTES: Anaheim wraps up a two-game trip Friday in St. Louis. ... Avalanche D Chris Bigras (head) missed a second straight game. ... F Jack Skille was a scratch. ... Colorado killed off three Anaheim power-play opportunities. The Avalanche have now killed off 22 straight penalties.