Panthers can't capitalize on opportunities in loss to Avalanche

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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Nathan MacKinnon and Alexander Kerfoot scored 41 seconds apart in the second period and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Florida Panthers 7-3 on Saturday night to snap a four-game skid.

Colin Wilson, Erik Johnson and Mikko Rantanen also had goals for the Avalanche. Matt Nieto and Carl Soderberg both scored into an empty net late in the third, and Semyon Varlamov stopped 39 shots.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Denis Malgin and Aaron Ekblad scored for the Panthers, who have lost four of five. James Reimer made 23 saves.

After trailing 2-1, Colorado scored two quick goals in the second to take the lead.

MacKinnon threaded his way through the Panthers' defense and beat Reimer at 11:26 to tie it. Tyson Barrie took a shot from the blue line and it was deflected by Kerfoot at 12:07 to give the Avalanche a 3-2 advantage.

Johnson fired a shot from above the right circle that went between Reimer's pads with 8:01 left in the third to stretch the Avalanche lead to 4-2.

Wilson added a goal with 6:18 remaining to make it 5-2, but Huberdeau's goal with 5:45 left closed the gap to 5-3.

Nieto and Soderberg scored empty-net goals in the final four minutes to close it out.

Malgin gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead on a breakaway when he put the puck past Varlamov on the glove side at 4:51 of the second. Malgin has a goal in three straight games and four in the past six.

The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when Rantanen backhanded in a rebound at 10:56.

Florida tied the game with 2.6 seconds left in the first. Ekblad took a nice pass from Huberdeau in the right circle and fired a shot past Varlamov. The goal was Ekblad's third in three games.

NOTES: Huberdeau's assist on Ekblad's goal moved him past Ray Whitney for 10th place on the Panthers' career scoring list with 228 points. … Ekblad is the third defenseman in Panthers history to score at least one goal in three-plus team games. … Panthers C Aleksander Barkov was scratched with an upper-body injury. … Johnson appeared in his 400th game with the Avalanche.


Avalanche: Visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.

Panthers: Visit the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.