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Dec 23, 10:55 PM EST

Varlamov returns, leads Avalanche past Blues 5-0

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DENVER (AP) -- Semyon Varlamov returned from an injury and stopped 26 shots in his second shutout of the season, leading the Colorado Avalanche past the slumping St. Louis Blues 5-0 on Tuesday night.

Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Ryan O'Reilly each had a goal and an assist for Colorado, which has won three in a row and is 4-0-2 in its last six games. The Avalanche (13-13-8) reached .500 for the first time this season.

Varlamov missed six straight games with a groin injury before returning Tuesday. He faced only seven shots in the first period and eight halfway through the game.

Varlamov had 12 saves in the third to earn his 15th career shutout.

Jake Allen allowed five goals on 31 shots before being replaced by Martin Brodeur to start the third period for the Blues, who have lost three straight.

The Avalanche went ahead 1-0 on Erik Johnson's ninth goal of the season and fifth in five games. Johnson's shot from the point got through traffic and deflected off the far post at 15:02 of the first.

Fellow defenseman Zach Redmond made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 18:45 of the first. It was his fourth of the season.

Tanguay's 12th goal 5:49 into the second gave Colorado a 3-0 lead. Tanguay scored when Iginla's shot went off his body, then bounced off Allen's back and into the net.

St. Louis, held to eight shots through the 10-minute mark of the second period, started to generate chances but Varlamov stopped six shots to keep the Blues scoreless.

Colorado then put it away with two goals in a span of 40 seconds. O'Reilly got the first one on the power play and Iginla made it 5-0 with his eighth of the season at 17:27 of the second.

NOTES: Avalanche LW Patrick Bordeleau is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks after breaking his knee in Saturday's win at Buffalo. ... St. Louis D Alex Pietrangelo had his seven-game point streak stopped. ... Colorado D Brad Stuart had two assists.

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