Rantanen scores twice, leads Avalanche past Flyers 4-1

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Mikko Rantanen had two goals, Matt Nieto and Gabriel Landeskog also scored, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Monday night.

The Avalanche continued their early-season hot streak and finished 3-0-1 on their four-game road trip. Landeskog had a hat trick on the trip against New Jersey and clinched this one with his eighth goal of the season early in the third period.

Semyon Varlamov was solid in net and stopped 37 shots.

The Flyers continued to push their rookie mascot Gritty, giving out T-shirts and running fun facts (“Gritty has been known to use the express lane at the grocery story even when he buys more than 15 items”) on the big screen of the furry fan favorite. But the frivolity can’t mask the problems for a Flyers’ team that suffered its third home loss of the season and continued to struggle in the defensive zone.

Rantanen needed only 3:23 to beat Brian Elliott for his third goal of the season and the quick lead. Nathan MacKinnon set up Rantanen for the power-play score, and they became the first players in franchise history with concurrent nine-game point streaks to start the season.

Nieto was left open on the left side to score his first goal of the season in the second.

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, left, defends the goal as Philadelphia Flyers' Sean Couturier tries to control the puck Wayne Simmonds during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, left, defends the goal as Philadelphia Flyers' Sean Couturier tries to control the puck Wayne Simmonds during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, left, defends the goal as Philadelphia Flyers’ Sean Couturier tries to control the puck Wayne Simmonds during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Flyers captain Claude Giroux lost the puck in the offensive zone and Landeskog capitalized with a breakaway goal for a 3-0 lead.

The fans chanted for Gritty.

The best they got was a slapper from Nolan Patrick to cut it to 3-1.

The Avalanche continued to get production from perhaps the best top line in the NHL. MacKinnon has a goal in seven of nine games, and his eight even-strength goals lead the NHL. Rantanen is in the top-five in scoring, and Landeskog has been a dominant goal scorer. Rantanen added an unassisted empty-netter in the final 90 seconds to squash any thought of a Flyers’ comeback.

NOTES: Flyers F Michael Raffl left with an unspecified lower-body injury. … Flyers D Shayne Gostisbehere seemed in pain and was down on the ice for a bit after a collision in the third with Landeskog. … Joe Sakic and Anton Stastny each had a point in eight straight games to open the 1988-89 season when the franchise was still in Quebec. … The Flyers have yet to win consecutive games this season. … Landeskog was named the NHL first star of the week.

UP NEXT

Avalanche: Return home Wednesday to play Tampa Bay.

Flyers: Thursday at Boston.

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More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/tag/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, left, gloves a shot on goal as Philadelphia Flyers' Wayne Simmonds screens during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, left, gloves a shot on goal as Philadelphia Flyers' Wayne Simmonds screens during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, left, gloves a shot on goal as Philadelphia Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds screens during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Philadelphia Flyers' Brian Elliott turns away a shot on goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Philadelphia Flyers' Brian Elliott turns away a shot on goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Philadelphia Flyers’ Brian Elliott turns away a shot on goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Elliott lies on his stomach after the goal by Colorado Avalanche's Mikko Rantanen during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Philadelphia. At right is Flyers' Christian Folin. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Elliott lies on his stomach after the goal by Colorado Avalanche's Mikko Rantanen during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Philadelphia. At right is Flyers' Christian Folin. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Elliott lies on his stomach after the goal by Colorado Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Philadelphia. At right is Flyers’ Christian Folin. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

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