MacKinnon scores four goals, Avs rally to beat Sens
DENVER (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon scored four goals to extend his career-best points streak to 17 games, Mikko Rantanen scored twice, and the Colorado Avalanche rallied for a 6-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
MacKinnon scored into an empty net in the final moments for the first four-goal game in Avalanche team history. Cale Makar had a pair of assists in his return from a lower-body injury that sidelined him for three games. The Avs killed three Ottawa power plays in the last eight minutes with the help of Alexandar Georgiev, who finished with 41 saves.
Jacob Bernard-Docker, Ridly Greig, Drake Batherson, and Josh Norris scored for Ottawa, which lost its sixth straight. The two most recent losses came under interim coach Jacques Martin, who replaced the fired D.J. Smith on Monday.
Martin, who coached the Senators from 1996 to 2004, had initially rejoined the team on Dec. 6 as a senior adviser to Smith.
Trailing 4-3, Colorado tied it on MacKinnon’s third goal, a power-play score at 6:16 of the third. Martin lodged a challenge claiming the Avalanche were offside on the play but it was unsuccessful and the Avs were awarded another power play for delay of game, during which Rantanen scored on a tip-in.
The Senators went in front 3-2 on Bernard-Docker’s goal at 1:32 of the second period. He launched a shot from the point that deflected at the last moment off Makar’s stick and into the net.
Batherson went top shelf at 14:47 of the second to beat Georgiev, putting the Senators up by two before Rantanen scored on a wrist shot to pull the Avalanche within a goal going into the third period.
Ottawa scored twice in a 15-second span of the opening period, the first on a power-play goal by Norris and the second on a rebound shot by Grieg for a 2-1 lead.
MacKinnon’s second goal, at 18:28 of the first, was the 300th of his career and evened the score. He was positioned in the slot when he snapped a shot into the net past goalie Joonas Korpisalo, who had 33 saves.
MacKinnon opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 2:43 of the first, with a slapshot from the center of the left circle.
Senators: Return home to host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
Avalanche: Host the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.
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