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Avalanche hold on in final seconds for 3-2 win over Coyotes

Nazem Kadri had a goal and two assists, Hunter Miska stopped 16 of 18 shots and the Colorado Avalanche held on to beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on Friday night.

The 25-year-old Miska was playing in just his fourth NHL game and nearly earned a shutout until the Coyotes scored two goals in the final two minutes. Arizona had a sleepy offensive performance until Phil Kessel scored with 1:36 left and Drake Caggiula added another one with 53 seconds left.

That led to a tense exchange in the final seconds before the Avalanche fended off a final Coyotes offensive flurry.

Arizona Coyotes center Derick Brassard (16) and Colorado Avalanche center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (41) vie for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP PhotoRoss D. Franklin)

The Coyotes came into the game on a roll, becoming just the eighth NHL team to win consecutive games after trailing by at least three goals. They nearly pulled it off again in shocking fashion, but waited too late to get the offense started.

Colorado jumped ahead 1-0 early in the second period on a power play when Mikko Rantanen scored from close range at the far post after a quick crossing pass from Kadri. It was Rantenen's eighth goal of the season.

Arizona goalie Adin Hill made his first start of the season in place of the injured Darcy Kuemper, who was out with a lower body injury that happened during the team's win on Wednesday. Hill stopped 14 shots in the come-from-behind victory after replacing Kuemper.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Hunter Miska (32) makes a save as Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller (9) battles with Avalanche center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (41) while referee Peter MacDougall (38) looks on during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP PhotoRoss D. Franklin)

Hill played well again in a scoreless first period, stopping 11 shots, including a handful at close range. Things got chippy late in the first period when Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog slammed Arizona's Conor Garland to the ice. Both were assessed a minor roughing penalty.

Colorado pushed ahead 2-0 early in the third when Andre Burakovsky beat Hill with a hard shot to the top right corner. It was his fourth goal of the season. The Avalanche put the game away later in the third when Kadri slipped his sixth goal of the season past Hill into the bottom left corner of the net.

Kessel's goal was his eighth of the season. Hill stopped 25 of 28 shots.

Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen (96) tries to control the puck in the air as he gets hit by Arizona Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP PhotoRoss D. Franklin)

OUCH

Linesman Brad Kovachik took a puck to the side of the head midway through the first period and had to leave the ice. The game went on with two referees and one linesman until he returned in the second period.

UP NEXT

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Adin Hill (31) makes a save on a shot as Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard (49) looks for a rebound during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP PhotoRoss D. Franklin)

The teams meet again in Arizona on Saturday night.

Follow David Brandt at www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP

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