Iginla's 23rd goal helps Avalanche beat Coyotes 5-2, keep pace in Western playoff race

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GLENDALE, Arizona — The Hall of Fame goalie behind the Colorado bench got the better of the rookie who suited up for Arizona in the latest installment of their feud.

Still, coach Patrick Roy thinks Louis Domingue should be thankful instead of angry.

Ryan O'Reilly and Jarome Iginla scored 29 seconds apart in the first period, Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves, and the Colorado Avalanche beat Domingue and the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 on Thursday night for their third straight win.

Freddi Hamilton added his first NHL goal, and Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog also scored for the Avalanche, who won for the 11th time in 15 games and remained seven points out of the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored twice for the Coyotes, who have dropped four straight and 16 of 17.

But the intrigue in this one involved a coach and goalie.

Domingue stopped 24 shots in his third NHL start and his first game against his former juniors coach.

Before taking over in Colorado last season, Roy spent eight years as the owner and coach of the Quebec Remparts juniors team. Asked last year how they blew a 3-0 series lead to Halifax in the 2012 playoffs, Roy said, "Bad goaltending."

Domingue responded with a series of tweets in French in which he said Roy "intimidated me verbally day after day" and was "one of the worst people I've ever met."

In a later radio interview, Domingue said he "didn't get any of the help I needed" from Roy as a coach.

Roy said he saw an improved goalie who benefited from the tough love.

"I think it's your job to prepare them for the next level," Roy said. "Then tonight I was watching him and he was in the NHL. Then they must have done a good job somewhere to help him achieve that goal. I believe he should say, 'Thank you.'"

The 23-year-old Domingue wasn't tested early, as Arizona dominated and took a 1-0 lead when Sam Gagner threaded a cross-slot pass to Ekman-Larsson, whose wrist shot beat Varlamov at 3:24 for his 50th career goal.

But the Avalanche woke up and got some help from Domingue.

O'Reilly scored at 8:15 after Domingue stopped his initial shot, but the puck trickled through him, and he inadvertently kicked it in.

Less than 30 seconds later, Iginla beat Domingue between the pads for his 23rd, giving Colorado two goals on four shots.

"That's not the start I was expecting of myself," Domingue said.

Did it matter who was behind the other bench?

"For sure it mattered," Domingue said. "I wish I could have beaten that team."

In his seventh game with Colorado and eighth in the NHL, Hamilton redirected Brad Stuart's blast midway through the second period to give Colorado (77 points) a cushion on a night the Avalanche didn't get any help.

Winnipeg (84 points) won, as did Calgary (83), San Jose (78) and Dallas (76) in the crowded playoff race.

"It makes it just as important. We keep pace," Iginla said. "There's enough games left."

The Coyotes long ago faded from contention, and a series of trades left them depleted offensively. They have lost 13 of 14 at home, with their last regulation win there on Jan. 8.

Ekman-Larsson's second goal came off a deflection midway through the final period. It was initially not ruled a goal, but the game was later stopped and the decision overturned by video review.

Ekman-Larsson's 19 goals are the most among NHL defensemen.

"If we can build a better nucleus around him," coach Dave Tippett said, "I think he'll turn into an even better player."

NOTES: Arizona's Joe Vitale had a goal disallowed early in the third period when a video review determined he kicked in the puck. ... Colorado C Joey Hishon (elbow) was scratched. ... Arizona RW Martin Erat (upper body) left after the second period. ... Coyotes captain Shane Doan earned an assist in his 1,384th game, tying him with Larry Robinson for 37th on the NHL career list.

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