MacKinnon Nets First Multi-Goal Game vs. Sharks
The rookie becomes the youngest player in franchise history to score twice in a game
Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 8:01 PM
By Ron Knabenbauer
Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy has said Nathan MacKinnon's has taken massive steps in his development as a player since his first game. MacKinnon has even said he's grown a lot since he first donned Colorado's burgundy and blue colors and skated on the Pepsi Center ice Oct. 2 against Anaheim.
Yet, now 41 games and officially halfway through his first NHL season, MacKinnon is still a rookie at heart and can still show those energetic, youthful traits displayed by an 18-year-old playing in the National Hockey League.
That excitement was clear after MacKinnon scored his second goal Saturday afternoon against the San Jose Sharks. He received a pass from John Mitchell in the neutral zone, raced down the right-wing boards and fired a wrist shot with pinpoint accuracy over goalie Alex Stalock's right shoulder and into the top left corner of the net at 5:59 of the second period.
"I was aiming for the left side," MacKinnon said. "It happens so quick that you can't really stare at a spot, but thankfully I caught the left post and it went in."
After the puck hit twine and as MacKinnon was making his way around the end wall to begin celebrating his 12th goal of the season with his teammates, there was a giant smile and almost a look of disbelief on his face.
MacKinnon, Avalanche take early lead, hold on
Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 5:36 PM
DENVER -- Rookie Nathan MacKinnon scored two goals Saturday, and the Colorado Avalanche held on for a 4-3 win against the San Jose Sharks at Pepsi Center.
Goalie Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves, including on a breakaway against Joe Pavelski on a Sharks power play late in the third period after the Avalanche nearly gave away all of their 4-0 second-period lead.
"I shot five-hole," Pavelski said. "I shouldn't have shot five-hole. I never shoot five-hole. I saw a lot of openings, but for some reason that's where I went. If I could have it back, I would."
The Avalanche, who have won three games in a row and are 3-0-1 to start a seven-game homestand, reached the halfway point of their season in third place in the Central Division with a 26-11-4 record and 56 points.READ MORE >
POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES
* The Avalanche have reached the halfway mark of the season with a 26-11-4 record (56 points)…Colorado’s 26 wins equals its most-ever at the mid-point of the season, while its 56 points trails only the 2000-01 team for the best record after 41 games.
* Nathan MacKinnon recorded his first career multi-goal game this afternoon…At 18 years, 125 days, MacKinnon became the youngest player in franchise history to score two goals in a game…He broke the mark set by Ryan O’Reilly, who was 18 years, 272 days when lit the lamp twice on Nov. 6, 2009 vs. Chicago.
* Gabriel Landeskog extended his point streak to six games (3g/4a), tying his career-long scoring streak set Feb. 17-27, 2012…It’s the longest point streak by any Avalanche player in 2013-14.
* Semyon Varlamov improved to 6-0-4 in his last 11 games (10 starts), equaling his longest streak without a regulation loss in his NHL career (10 decisions)…He went 9-0-1 from Dec. 13, 2008 - Oct. 29, 2009.CLICK FOR MORE >
Avalanche holds on to beat Sharks 4-3 in Saturday afternoon battle
Click below for great images from today's Avs vs. Sharks game.
• This afternoon is the Avalanche's 41st game of the season, as the Avs will officially hit the halfway point after today's contest.
• Today is the first of four afternoon games here at Pepsi Center this season. This is the second of six matinees overall for the Avs, who lost 3-2 in a shootout at Los Angeles in their first daytime tilt on Dec. 21.
• The Avalanche and Sharks are meeting for the second time this season and the first time here in Denver. San Jose won the first meeting 5-4 in a shootout on Dec. 23 at the SAP Center. The Sharks are the only Pacific Division team that will face the Avs four times this season (the others will all play three games against Colorado).
• The Avs have gone 8-for-8 in penalty killing so far on this homestand. In fact, Colorado has not allowed a power-play goal in its last six home games, going 15-for-15. The Avalanche's PK unit actually has a streak of 16 straight kills on home ice dating back to Dec. 10 vs. Phoenix.
• The Avalanche's power play has gone 8-for-23 (34.8%) over the last eight games.
• Gabriel Landeskog has a season-high five-game point streak (3g/3a), matching the longest scoring streak by an Avalanche player in 2013-14 (Duchene, Stastny). He is now one shy of tying his career-long point streak of six games set Feb. 17-27, 2012.
• Semyon Varlamov is 5-0-4 in his last 10 games (nine starts) with a 2.05 GAA and .939 Sv% (585 min, 329 shots, 20 goals). Varly is now one shy of equaling his longest streak without a regulation loss (9-0-1) set Dec. 13, 2008 - Oct. 29, 2009. Semyon's last regulation defeat was Dec. 10 vs. Phoenix. He is 2-0-1 on this homestand with a 1.95 GAA and .943 Sv% (185 min, 105 SA, 6 GA).
• Erik Johnson has a three-game assist streak (3a), one shy of his career best. He has nine points (4g/5a) in his last nine games. EJ leads all Colorado defensemen in points (18), goals (6) and assist (12).
• Ryan O'Reilly has eight points (4g/4a) in his last seven games. He is tied for first on the Avs in power-play goals (4) and game winners (3) and his 14 goals overall rank second. O'Reilly has a team-high 43 takeaways.
• Matt Duchene has 16 points (4g/12a) in his last 11 contests. Matt leads the team in goals (16), assists (21), points (37), power-play goals (4-tied), game-winning goals (3-tied) and shots (118).
Avs Host Sharks, Look To Stretch Win Streak To Three
Friday, 01.03.2014 / 3:10 PM
SHARKS (26-9-6) at AVALANCHE (25-11-4)
TV: CSN-CA, ALT
Last 10: San Jose 7-3-0; Colorado 4-2-4
Season series: This is the second of four games between the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche. Logan Couture scored the decisive goal in a shootout as the Sharks edged the Avalanche 5-4 at SAP Center on Dec. 23.
Big story: Is there a better story in the NHL at the moment than Bracken Kearns? It's safe to say the Sharks don't think so. A minor-league journeyman who played in a total of 13 regular-season and Stanley Cup Playoff games prior to this season, the 32-year-old now has goals in three straight games after scoring in San Jose's 5-1 win Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers.
"I know what he's gone through and I've seen him work so hard every day, and he's a guy that you admire, especially from me," Couture said in the San Jose Mercury News. "Now he's getting a shot and scores in three straight games. It's incredible. It gives you chills thinking about it."READ MORE >