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Rapid Recap: Avalanche 3, Devils 1

Pavel Francouz stopped 37 shots to help extend Colorado's point streak

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Pavel Francouz stopped 37 shots to help the Colorado Avalanche earn a 3-1 win against the New Jersey Devils on Friday at Pepsi Center.

The victory extended the Avs' point streak to nine games, a season long stretch for Colorado, tying the Calgary Flames for the longest active point streak in the league. (8-0-1 in their last nine).

Gabriel Landeskog and Valeri Nichushkin scored their sixth goals of the season in the first and second period, respectively. Nathan MacKinnon assisted on Landeskog's marker and recorded his 20th marker of the year into an empty net to bring his season total to 50 points (20 goals, 30 assists) and seal the win for the Avalanche.

Mirco Mueller tallied for New Jersey while Louis Domingue and MacKenzie Blackwood split time in net for the Devils.

Colorado and New Jersey conclude their season series on Jan. 4 at Prudential Center.

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

THE GOALS

1st Period
11:37 COL (1-0) - PPG, Nathan MacKinnon faked a shot and passed to Gabriel Landeskog, who scored his sixth of the year.

2nd Period
7:56 COL (2-0) - Valeri Nichushkin skated into the offensive zone with the puck and scored on a wrist shot to extend the lead.

3rd Period
15:48 NJD (2-1) - Mirco Mueller cut New Jersey's deficit in half when the puck deflected off a defenders stick.
19:28 COL (3-1) - Nathan MacKinnon scored his 20th goal of the season into an empty net to seal the win for Colorado.

Final: Avalanche - 3 | Devils - 1

3 STARS

  1. Pavel Francouz (COL): Denied 37 of the 38 shots he faced.
  2. Gabriel Landeskog (COL): Scored the first goal of the game.
  3. Nathan MacKinnon (COL): Recorded his 20th goal of the year and added an assist.

Selected by Colorado Hockey Coach of the Game: Larry Buttenwiser (Colorado Springs)

POWER PLAYS

Colorado: 1 for 5
New Jersey: 0 for 4

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Colorado: Pavel Francouz made his third consecutive start in net and stopped 37 of the 38 shots he faced.
New Jersey: Louis Domingue started in net and allowed two goals on 17 shots in 31:15 of ice time. MacKenzie Blackwood made denied all 19 shots he faced in 29:05.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Nathan MacKinnon recorded his 30th assist and scored his 20th goal of the season to bring his season totals to 50 points. He now has 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in his last 13 contests. At Pepsi Center this year, the Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, native has at least a point in all but one of his 15 home contests, tallying 25 total (10 goals, 15 assists).

MacKinnon reached the 50-point mark in his 32nd game of the season, one fewer than when he hit the milestone in 2018-19 (33 contests). He became the second player in franchise history to require 33 or fewer games to reach 50 points in consecutive seasons, joining the Quebec Nordiques' Peter Stastny in 1981-82 (31 games played), 1982-83 (29 games played) and 1983-84 (31 games played).

NOTEBOOK

Pavel Francouz is 7-0-1 in his last 10 games and is now tied for fifth in the league in save percentage (.932) and tied for eighth in goals-against average (2.26)...Valeri Nichushkin scored to extend his point streak to four games (three goals, one assist), setting a new career long. He has 10 points (six goals, four assists) through 28 outings this season, tying his total (10 assists) from last year… Nichushkin's goal stood as tthe game-winner, his second game-winning goal of the season and fifth of his career... The contest was the first of two "Friday the 13th" matchups for the Avalanche this year as the team will also host the Vancouver Canucks on Friday, March 13. Colorado is now 3-2-1 in Friday the 13th games... Colorado extended its point streak to a season-long nine games (8-0-1). It ties Calgary for the longest active point streak in the league. (8-0-1 in its last nine). The Avs are 13-3-1 (.794) in their last 17 games, the best record in the NHL since Nov. 7... The Avs are 10-3-2 at home this season. Colorado is 16-3-2 in its last 21 regular-season home games and 20-4-2 in the last 26 at Pepsi Center including playoffs... The Avalanche is 10-1-2 against Eastern Conference teams, the highest points percentage (.846) of any club against the East and has won five straight against Eastern teams... The Avalanche has scored three or more goals in its last 10 games and in 15 of its last 17 contests. Colorado's 117 goals this season is tied with the Washington Capitals for first in the NHL and its 3.66 goals-per-game average is tops in the league.

QUOTABLE

Goaltender Pavel Francouz on his performance: "It was just one of those nights where the puck is just hitting you and you can just enjoy the time. My teammates played pretty well in front of me, so that helped a lot."

BIG HIGHLIGHT 

Video: NJD@COL: Nichushkin rips puck into the twine

IMAGE OF THE GAME

Hey Nate, let's do that hockey!

ROSTER REPORT

Philipp Grubauer returned to the game roster and served as the backup goaltender in the contest. He missed the past two outings with a lower-body injury… Pavel Francouz made his third consecutive start in net, tying his career long (Nov. 7-12).

INJURY UPDATE

Erik Johnson skated for the second straight day in a non-contact jersey and will ramp up his on-ice training in the coming days. He has missed nine games with a lower-body injury that he suffered on Nov. 23 against the Toronto Maple Leafs… Rookie defenseman Cale Makar (upper body) did not hit the ice on Friday after skating for three consecutive days. He could return Monday at the St. Louis Blues… Colin Wilson (lower body) is out indefinitely after having surgery.

UP NEXT

Colorado hits the road for a two-game Central Division road trip with a stop at the St. Louis Blues on Monday and the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.

LINE COMBINATIONS

Based on start of the game

Forwards
95 Andre Burakovsky - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 72 Joonas Donskoi
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 91 Nazem Kadri - 96 Mikko Rantanen
11 Matt Calvert - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 13 Valeri Nichushkin
83 Matt Nieto - 17 Tyson Jost - 37 J.T. Compher

Defensemen
16 Nikita Zadorov - 49 Samuel Girard
27 Ryan Graves - 28 Ian Cole
48 Calle Rosen - 44 Mark Barberio

Goaltenders
39 Pavel Francouz
31 Philipp Grubauer

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