Sixty shots not enough for Hurricanes against Avs

Disjointed effort drops Carolina to 4-5-2

Avalanche defenseman Andrei Mironov checks Hurricanes center in the first period of Thursday's game at the Pepsi Center. Colorado won 5-3. (Ron Chenoy / USA TODAY Sports)

DENVER — Semyon Varlamov had a career-high 57 saves, Carl Soderberg and Patrik Nemeth had a goal and an assist each, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 on Thursday night.

Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog and Blake Comeau also had goals and Nathan MacKinnon had two assists for Colorado, which survived a strong Carolina push in the third period.

The Hurricanes outshot the Avalanche 22-7 in the last period but Varlamov stopped all of them to eclipse his previous high in saves of 54 done against Chicago on Jan. 6, 2015.

Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm and Derek Ryan had goals and Cam Ward stopped 22 shots for Carolina, which has lost three straight.

The Avalanche (7-5) broke it open in the second with three goals, including two less than a minute apart to go up 5-2.

Comeau put Colorado ahead with his second goal of the season at 11:25 and Landeskog made it 4-2 when he put Ward’s clearing attempt into the top shelf at 14:03.

Hurricanes coach Bill Peters challenged that the Avalanche were offsides on the play but the goal was upheld upon review. Carolina was assessed a delay of game penalty for the failed offsides challenge, a rule instituted by the NHL this season.

Rantanen made the Hurricanes pay when he scored 55 seconds later to put the Avalanche ahead by three goals.

Ryan made it 5-3 heading into the third after a scramble in front of the Colorado.

The Hurricanes (4-5-2) dominated the third but couldn’t score. They pulled Ward for an extra skater with 1:45 left but they managed just one shot.

Rask scored 55 seconds into the game on a turnover, Soderberg tied it when he tipped in a shot by Erik Johnson on a delay penalty and Nemeth’s first goal at 12:21 gave Colorado a 2-1 lead.

Lindholm got the Hurricanes even with his third of the season at 15:14.

NOTES: Carolina D Brett Pesce did not make the two-game road trip due to a concussion suffered in practice on Tuesday. Trevor van Riemsdyk took Pesce’s spot on the top defensive pairing. … D Nikita Zadorov was a healthy scratch for Colorado for the third straight game. D Chris Bigras was also scratched. … Hurricanes D Jaccob Slavin celebrated a homecoming. He is a native of nearby Erie, Colo., and played two seasons at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. … Avalanche C Nathan MacKinnon has five points (2g, 3a) in the past two games. He had one point in his previous six games.