Rantanen scores twice, MacKinnon extends home points streak as Avalanche beat Blue Jackets 6-1

Fri, Mar 22, 2024
NHL News (AP)

Rantanen scores twice, MacKinnon extends home points streak as Avalanche beat Blue Jackets 6-1

DENVER (AP) - Mikko Rantanen had two goals and an assist, Nathan MacKinnon extended his home points streak to 33 games with a late score and the Colorado Avalanche routed the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-1 on Friday night.

Cale Makar, Ross Colton and Valeri Nichushkin added goals for the Avalanche, who won their eighth straight game as they surged to the top of the Central Division. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 23 shots for his 36th win of the season.

Trailing 1-0, the Avalanche scored six straight goals for their 24th comeback victory. They had 50 shots on goal.

MacKinnon scored on a breakaway with 6:01 remaining to keep his home points streak going, and later had an assist. It's the second-longest home points streak to open a season in NHL history, trailing only Wayne Gretzky's mark of 40 in 1988-89.

Damon Severson scored for Columbus team that has tumbled to last in the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets are 0-1-1 on a five-game trip. Elvis Merzlikins was kept busy all night, making 44 saves.

Ross Colton and Mikko Rantanen scored 1:24 apart in the second period to help Colorado take control. Rantanen, who had a hat trick in St. Louis on Tuesday night, is four points away from his second straight 100-point season.

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The Blue Jackets thought they scored in the second period on a wild play where the puck bounced off a Columbus player's glove, sprang off the top of the net and was batted in by Dmitri Voronkov. But the officials ruled a hand pass and the goal was negated.

The first period featured two shots off the post, two more off the crossbar and two that found the back of the net, one goal by each side.

Severson gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead when a sliding pass across the ice from Johnny Gaudreau bounced off Severson's skate and past Georgiev. Makar tied it up on a wrist shot after a pinpoint pass from Artturi Lehkonen.

Before the game, there was a moment of silence for rugged former NHL winger Chris Simon, who died by suicide this week at 52. He won the Stanley Cup with Joe Sakic and the Avalanche in 1996.

Simon played 15 NHL seasons from 1993-2008. Over his career, he fought more than 100 times and racked up 1,824 penalty minutes to rank 67th in league history.


Blue Jackets: At Vegas on Saturday night.

Avalanche: Host Pittsburgh on Sunday.


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Dean Sports