SUNRISE, Fla. — The Avalanche scored twice within 47 seconds Saturday and put together an overall solid road game in defeating the Florida Panthers 7-3 to snap a four-game losing skid.
Nathan MacKinnon and Alex Kerfoot scored in quick succession in the second period to give the Avs a 3-2 lead and Erik Johnson and Colin Wilson added third-period insurance goals. Colorado, which led 1-0 early behind Mikko Rantanen’s goal, produced more than two goals in regulation for the first time since Nov. 22 in beating Dallas 3-0.
Matt Nieto and Carl Soderberg added empty-net goals after the Panthers got within 5-3. Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov (39 saves) won for the first time since Nov. 29.
Except for a six-minute stretch from late in the first period to early in the second — a time when Colorado defensemen struggled to keep the puck in front of them — the Avs put together a solid road game. MacKinnon and Kerfoot scored to turn Florida’s 2-1 lead into a 3-2 Panthers deficit.
MacKinnon split the Panthers’ two defensemen and scored with a flick of the wrist from the doorstep at 11:26 of the second period, and Kerfoot redirected Tyson Barrie’s shot from the point at 12:07. Barrie’s wrist shot came off a give-and-go with Rantanen.
Florida took its lead with goals from defenseman Aaron Ekblad and winger Denis Malgin. Ekblad scored with a one-time blast in the final seconds of the first period and Malgin struck on a breakaway early in the second. Late the first period, the Avs had produced 14 of the game’s 18 shots and taken the early lead on Rantanen’s goal 10:56 into the game. Rantanen turned and fired on a loose puck at the side of the crease, his ninth goal of the season.
The Avs were scheduled to depart for Pittsburgh after the game. They will play the Penguins, two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, Monday and visit the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.