ST. PAUL, Minn.--Just when you think it might be a game where Cale Makar won't get on the scoresheet, the rookie defenseman finds a way.
Before you know it, he's registered two points.
That was Makar's night on Thursday for the Colorado Avalanche as he scored twice in a matter of 4:30 in the second period to help the club erase a two-goal deficit against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild scored midway through the third stanza to retake the lead and held on to defeat the Avs 3-2, but it wasn't for the lack of effort by Makar and company.
"He's a difference maker for us," said head coach Jared Bednar of Makar. "Tonight again, and we had some horses tonight. I was overplaying a handful of guys because they were going, but we need everyone going."
Makar played a career-high 24:41 and also added five shots on goal on eight attempts, two blocked shots, one hit and one takeaway. His markers added a jolt of life to the Avs' offense that was having trouble breaking through the Wild's defensive pressure for the first half of the outing.
The first tally at 14:19 came from an outside shot that found its way through traffic, while his second at 18:49 was the result of him dancing past a Wild player at the right circle before releasing a quick wrister.
Video: COL@MIN: Makar wrists home power-play goal
"He's tough to play [against] on our team right now," said fellow blueliner Nikita Zadorov. "He needs to work on his celebration a little more, but [he'll] get used to it I guess."
It was Makar's second two-goal game of the season, becoming the second defenseman in franchise history to register multiple multi-goal outings in his rookie campaign. Pierre Lacroix is the only other one to produce outings of two tallies during the 1979-80 season (Nov. 20, 1979 vs. Boston and Jan. 27, 1980 vs. Detroit).
Video: COL@MIN: Makar scores after toe drag
After three weeks of November, Makar is tied for fourth in NHL scoring for the month with 15 points, which is also the third-most by a rookie defenseman in league history behind Larry Murphy's 18 (1980) and Nicklas Lidstrom's 17 (1991).
He is one of six defensemen and the only rookie of the bunch in franchise history to record at least 15 points in a month. The Avalanche still has four more games left to play before December comes.
The Calgary, Alberta, native's 25 points on the year leads all league rookies and ranks second for D-men behind the Washington Capitals' John Carlson. Makar also ranks first among all first-year players with 18 assists and is tied for first with the Buffalo Sabres' Victor Olofsson with seven goals.
As for marking his name on the scoresheet, he's only failed to do it five times through 22 games.