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Rapid Recap: Avalanche 5, Devils 2

Mikko Rantanen recorded his second career hat trick in the win

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

NEWARK N.J.--Mikko Rantanen recorded his second career hat trick, Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves and the Colorado Avalanche won 5-2 against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night at Prudential Center.

Ian Cole and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare also found the back of the net and added an assist for Colorado, while Samuel Girard and Nathan MacKinnon contributed two helpers apiece. Girard has eight assists in his last three games, and MacKinnon's two points bring his season point total to 64 (25 goals, 39 assists). Cale Makar and Vladislav Kamenev also had assists.

The Devils' Blake Coleman made it a 3-1 game at 6:36 of the third period after tallying shorthanded and Jesper Boqvist scored with 1:23 remaining in the game.

Colorado sweeps the season series against New Jersey with the victory (2-0-0), and the team has now won four straight against the Eastern Conference foe.

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

THE GOALS

1st Period
No Scoring

2nd Period
11:23 COL (1-0) - Mikko Rantanen took a pass from Nathan MacKinnon and wristed a shot top shelf.
15:34 COL (2-0) - Ian Cole scored top shelf on a slap shot from the point that deflected off a Devils player.

3rd Period
0:08 COL (3-0) - From the corner, Cale Makar passed the puck to the front for Mikko Rantanen, who made a move to freeze the New Jersey goalie before depositing the puck into the open net.
6:36 NJD (3-1) - SHG, Blake Coleman tallied on a shot from the left circle that went far-side during a rush up the ice.
13:49 COL (4-1) - SHG, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored into an open net after Mackenzie Blackwood and Matt Calvert collided behind the Devils goal.
18:37 NJD (4-2) - PPG, Jesper Boqvist deflected a Sami Vatanen shot during a 6-on-4 situation.
19:44 COL (5-2) - ENG, Mikko Rantanen completed his second career hat trick by scoring into an empty net.

Final: Avalanche - 5 | Devils - 2

3 STARS

  1. Mikko Rantanen (COL): Recorded his second career hat trick
  2. Philipp Grubauer (COL): Made 28 of 30 saves
  3. Blake Coleman (NJD): Scored and had seven shots on net

Selected by attending media

POWER PLAYS 

Colorado: 0 for 3
New Jersey: 1 for 3

GOALTENDING BATTLE 

Colorado: Philipp Grubauer started for the fourth consecutive game and stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced.
New Jersey: Mackenzie Blackwood allowed four goals on 33 shots.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

More Mikko: Mikko Rantanen recorded his second career hat trick; his first three-goal performance was on Feb. 7, 2017 versus Montreal Canadiens. It is the second straight season an Avalanche player has recorded a hat trick at Prudential Center, as Gabriel Landeskog scored three times in Jersey on Oct. 18, 2018.

Rantanen scored his second goal of the game eight seconds into the third period, tying the Avalanche record for the fastest goal to begin a period (since 1995-96). Antti Laaksonen scored eight seconds into the first frame on Feb. 10, 2006 at the Columbus Blue Jackets. The franchise record is five seconds, accomplished twice by the Quebec Nordiques.

NOTEBOOK

Nazem Kadri was playing in his 600th career NHL game… Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored his first short-handed goal of the season. It was also his seventh tally of the year, tying his career high from 2015-16 with Philadelphia... Bellemare also added an assist to match his career high for points in a season with 16. He also had 16 points with Vegas in 2017-18... Samuel Girard (eight assists), Nathan MacKinnon (three goals, five assists) and Mikko Rantanen (four goals, one assist) are on three-game point streaks… Rantanen recorded his second multi-goal game of the year (Dec. 11 vs. Philadelphia)… Girard's three-game streak matches the longest of his career (twice previously, last: Oct. 6-11, 2018). He has recorded multiple points in each game during his point stretch… Ian Cole scored his fourth goal of the season and now has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his last nine games… Colorado held New Jersey to four shots on goal in the second period... Joonas Donskoi scored with 1:11 left in the first period, but it was immediately waved off as he whacked the puck in with a high stick over the cross bar... Colorado is now 14-6-2 on the road this season, the second-most away wins in the league. The Avs are 7-1-1 in their last nine road contests and 9-2-1 in their last 12... The Avalanche is 11-2-2 against the Eastern Conference... Colorado wrapped up its season series against New Jersey, finishing 2-0-0 against the Devils for its fourth straight win in the series.

QUOTABLE

Mikko Rantanen on his goal early in the third period: "Cale (Makar) made a good play entering the zone and found me late coming. [Gabriel Landeskog] was driving to the net and the goalie didn't see me coming. At the end it was pretty easy to go to my forehand and the goalie wasn't there, so great [job] for Landy there."

BIG HIGHLIGHT

Video: COL@NJD: Makar sets up Rantanen's second goal

IMAGE OF THE GAME

Trip, worth it!

ROSTER REPORT

Valeri Nichushkin was ill and was a late scratch for the game. It was the first contest he's missed since Oct. 21 at the St. Louis Blues… Vladislav Kamenev replaced Nichushkin in the lineup, playing for the first time since Dec. 9 versus the Calgary Flames. Kamenev was on a line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Tyson Jost… Nazem Kadri centered a line with Matt Nieto and Matt Calvert, while Andre Burakovsky moved up to a trio with J.T. Compher and Mikko Rantanen… Mark Barberio was scratched.

INJURY UPDATE

Colin Wilson (lower body) is out indefinitely after having surgery.

UP NEXT

Colorado continues it road trip on Monday on Long Island against the New York Islanders. It's the first half of a back-to-back as the Avs will also play at Madison Square Garden versus the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

LINE COMBINATIONS

Based on the start of the game
Forwards
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 72 Joonas Donskoi
83 Matt Nieto - 91 Nazem Kadri - 11 Matt Calvert
95 Andre Burakovsky - 37 J.T. Compher - 96 Mikko Rantanen
17 Tyson Jost - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 81 Vladislav Kamenev

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

Goaltenders
31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz

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