MacKinnon scores in OT as Avalanche rally to beat Islanders
Scott Mayfield took a holding minor with 22 seconds left in regulation, giving Colorado a 4-on-3 power play to begin overtime. MacKinnon got the winner with a slapshot on a pass from Cale Makar, his 20th goal of the season. MacKinnon also had two assists and extended his home point streak to 20 games to begin the season, a franchise record.
“We put ourselves in some situations that we can’t continue to put ourselves in, but the effort was there,” New York coach Lane Lambert said.
Valeri Nichushkin had two goals, Jonathan Drouin had a goal and an assist, and Devon Toews had a goal against his former team. Makar had three assists and Alexandar Georgiev made 18 saves for Colorado.
“Our big guys were all good,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “I think they had three points each, Val had two goals.”
Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist and Ilya Sorokin had 23 saves in relief of Semyon Varlamov for the short-handed Islanders. Pierre Engvall, Alexander Romanov and Simon Holmstrom also scored for New York, which has lost eight of its last nine games in Denver.
“I thought we played a pretty good game,” Engvall said. “Obviously we’re not happy with the way the game ended but we did a lot of good things.”
Varlamov was one of two players the Islanders lost during the game. He left at 14:52 after making a save, his 11th of the night, and was replaced by Sorokin.
Varlamov, who did not dress for Friday’s win over Washington due to an undisclosed injury, was making his first start in a week and served as Sorokin’s backup in a 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday night.
Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo went off after getting checked into the boards by Samuel Girard late in the second period. Bortuzzo got up but could not put weight on his right leg and was helped off the ice and into the locker room.
Lambert did not have an update on either player after the game. He said he did not know if Varlamov’s injury was related to the one that kept him out of Friday’s game.
Engvall and Nelson scored in the first period to give New York a 2-1 lead and the Islanders went ahead by two goals on Holmstrom’s goal just 1:09 into the second.
Nichushkin’s first of the night and Drouin’s goal 4:10 apart tied early in the second but Romanov put the Islanders ahead 4-3 when his shot from the point went off the skate of Avalanche defenseman Jack Johnson and through Georgiev’s pads at 10:18 of the second.
Nichushkin tied it with his 19th goal of the season at 12:21 of the third period.
“He’s a beast and it’s fun just to watch him play, he’s so big and powerful,” MacKinnon said of Nichushkin. “He definitely works his tail off. He deserves everything he’s getting.”
Islanders: At Arizona on Thursday night.
Avalanche: At Dallas on Thursday night.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL