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Apr 10, 2024 12:46 am

Avs bury Wild behind Nathan MacKinnon’s hat trick

Wild, Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon’s seventh career hat trick led the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.

MacKinnon also added an assist. With the four points, MacKinnon (137 points) pulled to within two of Nikita Kucherov (139 points) of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the NHL lead.

Cale Makar scored a goal and added two assists, and Artturi Lehkonen had the other goal for Colorado (49-24-6, 104 points), which leapfrogged the Winnipeg Jets into second place in the Central Division. Jonathan Drouin had three assists, and Alexandar Georgiev made 20 saves.

Matt Boldy scored a goal and added an assist, and Kirill Kaprizov had the other goal for Minnesota (37-31-10, 84 points). Mats Zuccarello had two assists, and Filip Gustavsson stopped 27 shots for the Wild, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Colorado scored three unanswered second-period goals to lead 5-2 heading to the third.

Makar gave Colorado a 3-2 lead at 6:15 of the middle frame. He walked the blue line and beat a screened Gustavsson with a wrist shot from the point for his 20th score of the season.

Colorado took a 4-2 lead on MacKinnon’s second goal of the game, at 14:53 of the second. The Colorado forward took a behind-the-back feed from Drouin and beat Gustavsson far side for his 50th tally of the season.

MacKinnon completed the hat trick with 51.6 seconds remaining in the middle period, skating around Wild defenseman Jake Middleton and beating Gustavsson.

Colorado outshot Minnesota 14-12 in the first period as the teams exchanged three power-play goals and were tied 2-2.

Lehkonen opened the scoring 4:34 into the first on a power play, one-timing MacKinnon’s pass past Gustavsson for his 16th score of the season.

MacKinnon doubled the Avalanche lead at 8:38, beating Gustavsson glove side on a partial break. It was his 49th tally of the season.

The Wild responded with a pair of power-play goals to tie it at 2-2.

Minnesota got on the board midway through the first as Kaprizov banged in his own rebound for his 42nd goal of the season.

Boldy tied it 2-2, tipping in Zuccarello’s centering pass with 20 seconds remaining in the period. It was his 27th score of the season.

–Field Level Media

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