DENVER -- Emergency starting goalie Jason LaBarbera stopped 16 shots Sunday and the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 at Pepsi Center.
The Ducks, who scored three goals in their previous three games, completed a four-game road trip with a 3-1-0 record and improved to 10-3-0 (20 points).
LaBarbera was recalled from Norfolk of the American Hockey League earlier Sunday because Frederik Andersen experienced tightness in his leg and didn't skate in the morning. LaBarbera, who played Friday and Saturday for Norfolk, was pressed into action when John Gibson sustained a lower-body injury in the warmup, prompting the Ducks to dress 45-year-old goalie consultant Dwayne Roloson as LaBarbera's backup.
"I’m pretty tired, but what an effort by the guys," said LaBarbera. "I haven’t been around the team much, but that was a pretty impressive effort by everybody. I’ve been in a lot of tough situations in my career, but that was probably the hardest one I’ve been in."
The Ducks kept the Avalanche hemmed in their own zone for long stretches throughout the game, limiting them to 18 shots, seven after the first period.
The Avalanche went on a power play with 3:07 remaining in the third period and didn't get a shot on goal even after goalie Semyon Varlamov (30 saves) went to the bench for an extra skater.
The Ducks were especially effective in front of LaBarbera in the second period, when they outshot the Avalanche 12-2 and went ahead 3-2 on goals by Hampus Lindholm and Cam Fowler that came 1:44 apart.
"This is a really good cycle team, and we controlled the puck for most of the game," said LaBarbera. "Our defense did a great job blocking shots, clearing pucks and that type of stuff. It was a great effort."
LaBarbera didn't have to make a second-period save until defenseman Erik Johnson took a shot with 4:32 remaining. Rookie Dennis Everberg, who scored his first NHL goal early in the first period, had a shot from the neutral zone as the buzzer sounded ending the period.
Lindholm scored his first goal of the season at 6:04, a few minutes after Varlamov made a save against Andrew Cogliano on a shorthanded breakaway. Patrick Maroon was behind the net when he passed to Lindholm in the slot for a quick shot past Varlamov.
Fowler put the Ducks in front for the first time with his first goal of the season at 7:48. Fowler skated from the left circle into the slot untouched for a backhander past Varlamov.
"This was a really good game, and one we’ll look back at," said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau. "Fowler’s goal was perfect in terms of pressure and changing at the right time. We’ll have a lot of video from this game to show in a positive light."
Maxime Talbot stole the puck while the Avalanche were killing a penalty with four minutes to go in the period and was skating on a breakaway when Anaheim's Ryan Kesler poked the puck away.
The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead in the first period when Everberg and Nathan MacKinnon sandwiched goals around one by the Ducks Corey Perry.
Everberg, playing in his eighth NHL game, scored 2:18 into the game when he skated down left wing into the Ducks' zone and took a shot from the bottom of the circle that skimmed between LaBarbera's pads.
The Ducks tied the game at 7:20 on Perry's NHL-leading 11th goal. Perry drove to the net and took a shot that hit Varlamov and bounced off Perry into the net as the players collided. The goal stood after a video review.
"I’ve been in a lot of interesting spots in my career, but that was the hardest one," said LaBarbera. "I was up at 4:30 this morning, Eastern time, flew across the country, and ended up playing tonight. You never know what to expect. The guys were unreal in front of me."