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Rapid Recap: Avalanche 5, Panthers 4 (OT)

Nathan MacKinnon scored in overtime to help Colorado improve to 6-0-1

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

SUNRISE, Fla.--The Colorado Avalanche rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Florida Panthers 5-4 in overtime on Friday night at BB&T Center.

Nathan MacKinnon scored his seventh career overtime tally to help Colorado earn the win and remain the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss, improving its record on the season to 6-0-1.

Andre Burakovsky had two goals while Joonas Donskoi and Matt Nieto also tallied for the Avs, which scored three times in the second period to help erase a 3-1 deficit entering the middle frame. The second period featured a flurry of goals, as Colorado and Florida combined for four markers in a 3:58 time frame.

Nieto and Burakovsky opened the scoring in the middle stanza with two goals in a matter of 32 seconds, the fastest two by the Avs this season.

Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer stopped a season-high 40 shots, including 26 of 27 after the first period.

Statistics | Photo Gallery | Highlights | Watch: Coach Bednar Postgame

THE GOALS

1st Period
3:32 FLA (0-1) - Jonathan Huberdeau took a pass from MacKenzie Weegar on the rush and scored on a shot from the left circle.
8:26 FLA (0-2) - SHG, Frank Vatrano tallied on a breakaway during an Avalanche power play.
10:57 COL (1-2) - Joonas Donskoi grabbed the puck at the side of the net off a rebound and stuffed it past the goal line before goalie Sergei Bobrovsky could stop the sequence.
14:57 FLA (1-3) - Jonathan Huberdeau recorded his second goal of the game on a wrist shot from the left circle after a give-and-go pass from Aleksander Barkov.

2nd Period
11:23 COL (2-3) - From the side of the net, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare sent a centering pass through the slot to Matt Nieto, who scored on a shot that went short side.
11:55 COL (3-3) - Just 32 seconds after finding the back of the net, Colorado added another one to tie the game, as Andre Burakovsky tallied his third goal of season with a wrist shot from the right circle that went over the glove of Sergei Bobrovsky.
14:04 FLA (3-4) - Brett Connolly scored on a wrist shot from the left circle.
14:21 COL (4-4) - The Avs answered back 17 seconds later as Andre Burakovsky buried a rebound for his second goal of the game.

3rd Period
No Scoring

Overtime
3:03 COL (5-4) - Nathan MacKinnon recorded his seventh career overtime goal with a wrist shot that beat Sergei Bobrovsky.

Final: Avalanche - 5 | Panthers - 4 (Overtime)

Video: COL@FLA: MacKinnon wins it in OT for Avalanche

3 STARS

  1. Nathan MacKinnon (COL): Tallied the game-winning goal in overtime
  2. Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA): Scored twice and recorded eight shots on net
  3. Andre Burakovsky (COL): Found the back of the net twice and assisted on the OT winner

Selected by Florida media

POWER PLAYS

Colorado: 0 for 3
Florida: 0 for 4

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Colorado: Philipp Grubauer faced a season-high 44 shots and stopped 40 of them, also a season's best.
Florida: Sergei Bobrovsky made 36 saves on 41 shots, the most the Avs have fired on a goalie this year.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Multi-Point Affairs: Joonas Donskoi had his second multi-point game of the season with three points (one goal, two assists), which tied his career high for a game (previous: Jan. 13, 2018 versus Arizona)… Andre Burakovsky also tied his career high with three points (third time), and he scored two goals in a game for the fifth time in his career and first with the Avalanche… It was also Burakovsky's second multi-point game of the season… Ian Cole had his 17th career multi-point game with two assists.

NOTEBOOK

With a 6-0-1 record, the Avalanche is off to its third-best start in franchise history and is tied for the third-most wins by the club after seven games... Nathan MacKinnon registered the seventh regular-season overtime goal of his career, moving into a tie for second place (Joe Sakic) in franchise history in overtime winners, two behind Milan Hejduk... MacKinnon extended his season-opening point streak to seven games (four goals, six assists)... The Avs' two goals in a matter of 32 seconds in the second period were the fastest two scored by the team this season… Colorado's 18 shots in the second period is its most in a single frame this year... Colorado has scored four or more goals in five of its seven games this season and has potted five or more goals in three of those outings. The Avs' 4.14 goals-per-game average ranks second in the NHL (Nashville, 4.29)... Colorado has gone five straight games without allowing a power-play goal... The Avalanche and Panthers meet again to close the season series on Oct. 30 in Denver… Colorado improved to 3-0-1 against Eastern Conference opponents this season and 13-3-2 all-time against the Panthers in Florida during the regular season.

QUOTABLE

Head coach Jared Bednar on Andre Burakovsky's recent play recent: "He's got some confidence and swagger to his game right now. We're still encouraging him to shoot the puck because he's got a laser, and that was a great shot that he made on his one goal."

BIG HIGHLIGHT

Video: COL@FLA: Nieto, Burakovsky score 32 seconds apart 

IMAGE OF THE GAME 

Hold me closer, Willy.

ROSTER REPORT 

Nikita Zadorov returned to the lineup after being scratched in the previous game on Wednesday at the Pittsburgh Penguins… Mark Barberio, Vladislav Kamenev and Valeri Nichushkin were the healthy scratches.

INJURY UPDATE

Colorado entered the game healthy, though Nathan MacKinnon was a game-time decision with a leg injury suffered on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

The Avalanche completes its first back-to-back set on Saturday at the Tampa Bay Lightning, the fourth stop of the team's season-long, six-game road trip. Colorado will play 12 back-to-backs this season.

LINE COMBINATIONS

Based on start of the game

Forwards
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
95 Andre Burakovsky - 91 Nazem Kadri - 72 Joonas Donskoi
22 Colin Wilson - 17 Tyson Jost - 37 J.T. Compher
83 Matt Nieto - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 11 Matt Calvert

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

Goaltenders
31 Philipp Grubauer (starter)
39 Pavel Francouz (backup)

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