DENVER – Colorado’s top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen scored four goals together, and the Avalanche beat Minnesota 5-1 on Thursday night, setting the Wild’s winning streak in five games.
Rantanen scored two goals for the Avalanche and scored his second goal at 6:30 in the third half with a backhand shot. Joonas Donskoi scored for Colorado too, ending a breakaway with his eighth goal of the season at 1:57 a.m. of the third. Philipp Grubauer made 19 parades.
Victor Rask scored for Minnesota, which was on the defensive throughout the game. Colorado has left the Wild 55-20 behind. “Tonight was a pretty good night,” said Rantanen. “We caught the puck and we have to do that, move the puck a lot and bring it into the net. Obviously, my linemates help a lot. I play with two great players (Landeskog, MacKinnon). That’s the first thing to remember. Also, I think I’ll be shooting a little more this year. ”
The Avalanche was attacking aggressively from the start, shooting the Wild 25-6 in the first half and scoring two hits. They were also helped on the defensive with the return of Cale Makar and Bowen Byram. Both defenders returned after 10 and 9 missed games from upper body injuries. “I thought our boys came out hungry and skating and tried to get it in attack mode,” said avalanche trainer Jared Bednar. “It was a really nice all-round effort.”
MacKinnon brought the avalanche to the board at 11:10 am on the first day, highlighting an ankle shot between the circles that fell into the net past goalkeeper Cam Talbot. In less than a minute, Rantanen had put Colorado 2-0 ahead and threw the puck into the net from near a cross-ice pass by Samuel Girard.
Minnesota moved to one when Rask scored the second goal on a power play at 8:41 a.m. However, this was offset at 3:07 p.m. of the period when Landeskog set up his own rebound and hit the puck into the net as it fell forward onto the ice in a power play score. Minnesota’s Matt Dumba didn’t return after slipping hard in the second period. .
Minnesota and Colorado meet again on Saturday at the Denver Ball Arena. The teams have met five times this season, with Colorado having a 3-2 lead. “It was a tough game,” said defender Jonas Brodin. “I thought from the start that we had neither legs nor hands. It was just one of those games that nothing worked on. We have to get a lot better in the next game. I have to watch a video tomorrow and then come back on Saturday and have a much better game. ”
REMARKS: The Colorado Department of Health and Environment has cleared the way for a limited number of fans to play the Avalanche home games at Ball Arena. The guidelines allow a total of 4,050 fans to attend starting April 2nd when the Avs host the St. Louis Blues. It will be the Avs’ first game in front of home fans since March 11, 2020, when they faced New York Rangers. … Fierce defender Carson Soucy was scratched while serving his one-game suspension for violating Arizona forward Conor Garland. … Colorado C JT Compher has missed a seventh game since sustaining an upper body injury against Anaheim on March 5th. But he’s making good progress and could return in the coming days. … It was only the ninth time in 28 games that the game was played under three goals.