Compher’s 2 short-handed goals lead Avs past Coyotes 5-1
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — J.T. Compher scored a pair of short-handed goals in his return after missing 16 games due to injury, and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-1 Friday night.
Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves in his fifth win and first shutout of the season. Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen each had a goal and assist, and Tyson Barrie also scored for the Avalanche.
Colorado has earned points in six straight games, with victories in five of contests.
Dylan Strome scored a power-play goal in the third period as the Coyotes lost for the fourth time in five games.
Compher, playing on the penalty kill unit, scored twice in less than 1:30 on the Coyotes’ first power pay of the game. His first goal came at 7:28 of the first when Matt Nieto gathered the puck off a turnover, drew two defensemen and dished off to Compher, who scored on a clear shot.
At 8:53, with the Coyotes still on the man advantage, Compher scored on a breakaway,. It was his fifth goal in six games played. Compher had been out since Oct. 16 with a head injury.
Antti Raanta had a rocky return, starting in net for the first time since Nov. 2 and surrendering three first-period goals. The Coyotes’ No. 1 goaltender missed eight games with a lower body injury before finishing with 33 saves on Friday.
The Avalanche went ahead 3-0 on Rantanen’s goal. It came at 9:39 of the first when linemate Gabriel Landeskog flipped a pass up the ice and over the defense to Rantanen, who beat Raanta for his ninth goal of the season.
The Avalanche’s high-scoring top line of Rantanen, Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon added to their combined point total with six points. The group has 94 points this season.
MacKinnon assisted on Barrie’s goal at 6:11 of the third period, and got an assist on Landeskog’s power-play goal with 4:19 to play in the game.
NOTES: Actor Vince Vaughn, of “Old School” and “Wedding Crashers” movie fame, dropped the ceremonial puck before the game, then threw it to fans in the seats. ... Coyotes D Jordan Oesterle was scratched for the second straight game ... Avalanche F Gabriel Bourque was scratched for just the third time this season. ... Colorado is one of two Western Conference teams with eight road victories this season.
Colorado: Hosts the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
Arizona: Hosts the Calgary Flames on Sunday afternoon.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/tag/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports