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Rapid Recap: Avalanche 3, Islanders 1

Avs wrap up season-long homestand with win

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche scored once each period and defeated the New York Islanders 3-1 on Wednesday night at Pepsi Center.

Joonas Donskoi (first period), Andre Burakovsky (second) and Gabriel Landeskog (third) all found the back of the net to help the Avalanche take a 3-0 lead midway through the final stanza. Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar each added two assists in the club's first victory since Feb. 11, ending a three-game losing streak.

Colorado goaltender Pavel Francouz made 27-of-28 saves but had his shutout bid disrupted late in the third period after a goal by New York's Brock Nelson.

Ryan Graves and Valeri Nichushkin also had assists for the Avs.

Statistics | Photo Gallery | Highlights | Notes & Quotes | Video: Coach Bednar Postgame

THE GOALS

1st Period
9:07 COL (1-0) - Off a faceoff win by J.T. Compher, Cale Makar's shot from the high slot went off Joonas Donskoi's stick and got past goalie Semyon Varlamov.

2nd Period
0:45 COL (2-0) - Andre Burakovsky took a drop pass from Nathan MacKinnon and deposited the puck top shelf with a wrister.

3rd Period
7:43 COL (3-0) - Gabriel Landeskog redirected Nathan MacKinnon's shot from the blue line to extend the Avs' lead.
17:46 NYI (3-1) - Brock Nelson buried a loose puck near the crease to end Pavel Francouz's shutout bid.

Final: Avalanche - 3 | Islanders - 1

3 STARS

  1. Cale Makar (COL): Two assists
  2. Joonas Donskoi (COL): Tallied 15th of season, setting a new career high
  3. Pavel Francouz (COL): Made 27 saves

Selected by Colorado Hockey Coach of the Game: Jen Staufer (Boulder Hockey Club)

POWER PLAYS

Colorado: 0 for 4
New York: 0 for 3

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Colorado: Pavel Francouz stared for the second straight game and stopped 27 of the 28 shots faced.
New York: Semyon Varlamov was playing his first game back in Denver after spending the previous eight seasons with the Avalanche. He made 26 saves.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Hefty Helping: Nathan MacKinnon recorded two assists and now has 51 on the season, marking the third straight campaign that he reached the 50-assist threshold. He joins Joe Sakic, who did it twice (1998-2002, 2003-2007), and Peter Forsberg (1995-1999) as the only Colorado players since 1995-96 to record 50 or more helpers in three or more consecutive seasons.

MacKinnon now has 298 assists in his career, tied with Paul Stastny for ninth place on the franchise's all-time list and fifth place in Avalanche history.

NOTEBOOK

Joonas Donskoi recorded his 15th goal of the season, setting a new single-season career high. His previous best was 14 tallies in each of the past two years while a member of the San Jose Sharks… Cale Makar assisted on two goals in the game and now has 33 helpers on the campaign, setting a new franchise record for assists by a rookie defenseman. Quebec's Bruce Bell (1984-85) previously held the record. Makar now holds the rookie defenseman record for goals (12), assists (33) and points (45) in a campaign… Andre Burakovsky reached the 20-goal mark in a season for the first time in his NHL career. He scored his team-leading sixth game-winning goal of the year, which also sets a new personal best… The Avalanche finished its five-game homestand with a 2-2-1 record… Colorado is 17-6-4 (.692) against Eastern Conference opponents, the best record of any Western Conference team against the East… The Avs finished the season series with the Islanders with a 1-1-0 record, with each team winning on home ice.

QUOTABLE

Goaltender Pavel Francouz on fellow Czech and friend Martin Kaut making his NHL debut: "I think he played really well. It was his first NHL game and he played great defensively and offensively as well. He didn't [make] any mistakes so I'm really proud of him."

BIG HIGHLIGHT

Welcome to the show, kid.

Video: NYI@COL: Kaut takes solo lap before NHL debut

IMAGE OF THE GAME

Stop, in the name of Makar.

ROSTER REPORT

Martin Kaut made his NHL debut and began the game on a line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Matt Nieto… The Avs mixed up some of its defensive pairings, moving Nikita Zadorov onto a combo with Samuel Girard while Erik Johnson played with Ian Cole… Goaltender Pavel Francouz made his second consecutive start and played in his third straight game… Defenseman Mark Barberio was Colorado's lone healthy scratch.

INJURY UPDATE

Mikko Rantanen missed his first game after suffering an upper-body injury on Monday against Tampa Bay… Matt Calvert, Philipp Grubauer and Nazem Kadri are all expected to miss several weeks with lower-body injuries… Colin Wilson has been continuing his rehab and has been training in the gym after having two surgeries earlier this season due to a lower-body injury.

UP NEXT

The Avalanche heads to Southern California to begin its 10th back-to-back set of the season on Friday at the Anaheim Ducks. Colorado then faces the Los Angeles Kings in a Stadium Series rematch on Saturday night at Staples Center. Eight of the Avs' next 10 games are on the road.

LINE COMBINATIONS

Based on the start of the game

Forwards
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 95 Andre Burakovsky
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 37 J.T. Compher - 72 Joonas Donskoi
83 Matt Nieto - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 61 Martin Kaut
81 Vladislav Kamenev - 17 Tyson Jost - 36 T.J. Tynan

Defensemen
27 Ryan Graves - 8 Cale Makar
49 Samuel Girard - 16 Nikita Zadorov
28 Ian Cole - 6 Erik Johnson

Goaltenders
39 Pavel Francouz
32 Hunter Miska

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