Varlamov Out-Duels Mason in Colorado
Steve Mason was every bit as good as he's been so far this season, which earned him first half stud honors.
But Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov was just a tiny bit better. Varlamov stopped 29 shots, the same as Mason, but allowed only one to get by him in a 2-1 win over the Flyers on Thursday.
A rare lapse in the mind of Sean Couturier, who also received honors in our report card, set up Colorado's first goal.
Couturier turned the puck over to Erik Johnson, who found Matt Duchene for a one-time chance on Mason. Mason made the first save, but a charging Jamie McGinn put in the rebound to give Colorado a 1-0 lead.
It was part of an overall bad game for Couturier. He took two penalties, had a key turnover, and was 43.8% (7-for-16) on the face off dot.
Another stud on the report card, Nicklas Grossmann, failed to clear the rebound when it hit off Mason.
In the second period, Ryan O'Reilly gave the Avs a 2-0 lead. O'Reilly took the puck into the zone, dished it to Gabriel Landeskog for a give-and-go, and beat Mason after receiving the pass.
The Flyers cut the lead in half a few minutes later. Andrej Meszaros, who was a dud on our report card, fired a shot on net that Wayne Simmonds deflected into the net to beat Varlamov.
It proved to be the only offense for the Flyers. They pressed quite a bit in the third period, but Colorado's defense and Varlamov smothered every chance they got.
The Flyers also got some bad news earlier in the game. Michael Raffl was hit innocently into the boards by Landeskog, but his head struck the metal glass divider which resulted in him leaving with a concussion.