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Mar 22, 2024 11:50 pm

Avalanche demolish Blue Jackets for 8th straight win

Avalanche, Blue Jackets

Mikko Rantanen had two goals and an assist as the Colorado Avalanche extended their winning streak to eight games with 6-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday in Denver.

The run of eight consecutive victories ties the sixth-longest winning streak in Avalanche franchise history. More important for this season, the latest triumph keeps Colorado (45-20-5, 95 points) in first place in the Central Division. The Dallas Stars also have 95 points, but they have played one more game than the Avalanche have.

Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon each had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, and Jonathan Drouin had two assists. Ross Colton and Valeri Nichushkin scored Colorado’s other goals.

MacKinnon has at least one point in all 33 Avalanche home games this season, tying Wayne Gretzky for the second-longest home points streak in NHL history. Gretzky also holds first place on that list at 40 games in 1988-89.

MacKinnon is on a 17-game points streak across all games, with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in that span.

Rantanen has 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) over his past 17 games.

The Avalanche outshot the Blue Jackets by a 50-24 margin, including a 22-7 shots edge in the second period.

Colorado’s Alexandar Georgiev stopped 23 of 24 shots for his league-leading 36th win over the season.

The Blue Jackets (23-35-12, 58 points) are winless in their past three games (0-2-1). Columbus sits in last place in the Eastern Conference.

Elvis Merzlikins did his best against the Avalanche’s constant pressure, stopping 44 of 50 shots.

Damon Severson gave Columbus the early lead 4:28 into the first period. The Avalanche responded with six unanswered scores, beginning with Makar’s equalizer at 11:00 of the first period.

Colorado pulled ahead with two goals within a 1:24 span during the second period. Colton banged in a loose puck at the 5:43 mark, and Rantanen followed up with a canny redirect of a Josh Manson shot.

The Avalanche added two more scores in an even shorter 1:13 stretch in the third frame. A Makar takeaway set up MacKinnon’s 43rd goal 6:01 into the period, and Rantanen added a power-play marker at the 7:14 mark.

Nichushkin continued the pile-on at 13:38 of the third, using some impressive stick-handling to convert his 26th goal of the season.

–Field Level Media

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