DENVER — Carolina Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek collected or pushed aside everything the Avalanche threw at him Monday night, ruining the Avs' glorious opportunity to gain ground in the Western Conference playoff hunt.

"I have to say, he played a great game," Colorado forward Mikko Rantanen said.

After Minnesota lost at home and Arizona fell on the road, the Hurricanes skated off the Pepsi Center ice surface with a 3-0 victory, keeping Colorado two points behind the Wild and one in back of the Coyotes for the final wild-card spot.

Carolina, which had never won in regulation in 12 previous games in Denver, got goals from defenseman Dougie Hamilton and right wing Andrei Svechnikov, who scored his second on an empty-net in the closing minutes. But Mrazek was the player of the game, finishing with 38 saves, many in spectacular fashion.

"I'm (upset). How did we lose this game?" Rantanen said. "This was the night we were going to catch Minny."

"We had plenty of opportunities," added Avs defenseman Nikita Zadorov. "We had open nets. Just hard to win the game when you can't finish."

Colorado (30-28-12, 72 points) went 0-for-3 on the power play and was shut out for the second time in three games, and the fifth time overall. The Avs have 12 remaining games.

"Is this crippling? I don't think so," Avs coach Jared Bednar said. "We're fortunate that (the Wild and Coyotes) lose. We're still right there. I've said it all along — it's probably going to come down right to the wire."


Carolina doubled its 1-0 lead 7:08 into the third period when Svechnikov capped a fabulous passing play with Teuvo Teravainen and Justin Faulk. Svechnikov ultimately beat goalie Philipp Grubauer from the doorstep.

"We lost. We're missing out on important points," said Grubauer, who was making consecutive starts for the first time since Jan. 4.

The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead at 10:07 of the second period. On a delayed penalty to Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, Hamilton joined the rush and beat Grubauer with a wrist shot from the left circle. Perhaps Hamilton wouldn't have been in that position in a regular situation, but he knew a whistle would stop play when the Avs gained possession.

Carolina (38-24-7, 83 points), which solidified its position in the Eastern Conference playoffs, improved to 20-13-3 on the road.

"We just couldn't beat Mrazek," Bednar said. "I really liked Grubauer, but Mrazek was really good tonight."


Colorado played its second game without left wing and team captain Gabe Landeskog, who will miss the rest of the regular season with an upper-body injury. Landeskog is the Avs' second-leading goal-scorer (33) and third in points (69). ... The Avalanche will take Tuesday off and practice Wednesday and Thursday to prepare for Friday's game against the Anaheim Ducks. The Avs conclude their four-game homestand Sunday against the New Jersey Devils.