Avalanche dominates islanders while skidding continues

<pre><pre>Avalanche dominates islanders while skidding continues

DENVER – Pavel Francouz scored 27 saves and lost his first NHL shutout by a little over two minutes when Colorado Avalanche defeated the New York Islanders 3-1 on Wednesday night.

Gabriel Landeskog, Andre Burakovsky and Joonas Donskoi scored a goal to help Colorado finish a three-game skid.

The offensive battles for the tumbling islanders continued, who lost their fourth straight despite another strong performance by Semyon Varlamov. The goalkeeper, who had spent eight seasons with the Avalanche before signing for New York last summer, had 26 saves in his first game in Denver since leaving Colorado.

The islanders had only two goals on their road trip with four games. Brock Nelson scored his 22nd goal of the season with Varlamov for an additional skater and the Islanders three points behind.

The islanders lost striker Derick Brassard after being hit in the head in the first half against Ryan Pulock's shot. Brassard went into the locker room and played only one shift for the rest of the game.

The Avalanche took the early lead when Donskoi fired a shot from Makar at 9:07 a.m. in the first half, his 15th of the season, to start a high-scoring career. Burakovsky scored 2-0 just eight seconds after the islanders killed a penalty. Burakovsky's shot between the circles hit Varlamov high on the glove side after 45 seconds in the second half.

Landeskog made it 3-0 at 7:43 a.m. as he deflected Nathan MacKinnon's shot from the point. MacKinnon had two assists and gave him 51 for the season. He is only the third player in Colorado to have at least 50 assists in three consecutive seasons and joins current general manager Joe Sakic (1998-2002) and Peter Forsberg (1995-99).

As a thank you for his time in Colorado, Varlamov received a video homage during a break in the first phase.