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The Avs beat the Penguins 4-2 Monday, sweeping the season series from the 2-time defending champions

Posted: 10:07 PM, Dec 18, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-19 05:07:39Z

DENVER -- Defenseman  Tyson Barrie  scored twice,  Semyon Varlamov  stopped 30 shots -- even getting a little help from the posts along the way -- and the  Colorado Avalanche  beat the  Pittsburgh Penguins  4-2 on Monday night.

J.T. Compher  also scored and  Mikko Rantanen  sealed the win with a late empty-netter as the Avalanche knocked off the Penguins for the second time in a week to sweep the season series.

Barrie scored his first goal since Oct. 13 in the first period. He followed that up with another in the second for his fifth career two-goal game.

Chad Ruhwedel  and  Evgeni Malkin  found the net for the Penguins, who finished a three-game trip with a 1-2 mark. Pittsburgh was a little unfortunate in the second period when  Josh Archibald 's shot trickled through the pads of Varlamov, clanged off the post, stood on its edge for a moment and fell down on the line for no goal.

Malkin lined in a shot just 1:25 into the third to make it 3-2.  Ryan Reaves  nearly tied it late in the third, but his wrist shot down low clanged off the post. Matthew Murray was pulled in favor of an extra skater with around 1:40 left. Seconds later, Rantanen scored an easy goal.

Compher took a baseball swing to knock in a puck out of the air to give the Avalanche a 3-1 lead late in the second. Earlier in the period, Colorado capitalized on a cross-check penalty on  Ian Cole  as Barrie scored from the blue line. The Penguins entered 23 of 23 in killing penalties over their last eight contests.

Barrie staked the Avalanche to an early lead in the opening period when he scored his 50th career goal on a wrist shot over the glove of Murray. It lasted all of 5:35 before Ruhwedel's shot hit Varlamov in the right arm, got lost in his jersey for a moment and then rolled in off Varlamov's left skate.

Compher thought he scored late in the first, even raising his hands, but the official disallowed it when  Sven Andrighetto  made incidental contact with Murray near the goal.

The Avs were without top defenseman  Erik Johnson  as he served the first of a two-game suspension for boarding  Tampa Bay Lightning  forward  Vladislav Namestnikov  on Saturday. The suspension will cost Johnson $64,516.