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Postgame Wrap-Up: Rantanen Records Two Points in 200th Game

Mikko Rantanen registers a goal and an assist in his milestone game

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele /

In his 200th career NHL game, Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen showed why he has held a share of the league's scoring lead for each of the previous 57 days.

The 22-year-old factored in on both of the Avs' goals in the team's 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.

"I hope there is many more [milestone games] to come," Rantanen said when discussing game No. 200 after the victory. "When you dream about playing in the NHL when you are a kid, obviously it is a lot of games, but hopefully I have more to go."

He tied the game at 1-1 for the Avalanche with his 16th goal of the season and helped Colorado earn two points with an assist on Gabriel Landeskog's game-winning tally.

Video: MTL@COL: MacKinnon feeds Rantanen after turnover

Rantanen wasn't the only Colorado skater to contribute on both markers though, as linemate Nathan MacKinnon had the primary assist on each Avalanche goal. They both have 18 multi-point performances this year, tied for the most in the league.

Through 35 outings, Rantanen has 58 points (16 goals, 42 assists) while MacKinnon has 55 (21 goals, 34 assists), and the pair has ranked first and second in NHL scoring for each of the last 28 days.  

They have played on the same line for most of Rantanen's time in the league with the two first being paired late in the 2016-17 campaign.

The Nousiainen, Finland, native was drafted 10th overall by the Avalanche in the 2015 NHL Draft and has amassed 180 points (65 goals, 115 assists) in his tenure.  

"When you get drafted pretty early, you want to make it to the NHL," said Rantanen. "I didn't make it first year but second year I did, so it was good. I am enjoying the life right now and the game, so it is a lot of fun."

Video: Mikko Rantanen on the win vs. Montreal

GRUBI STRONG IN NET: Avalanche netminder Philipp Grubauer made 35 saves in the contest, including stopping all 23 shots he faced in the final two periods.

Grubauer also denied 12 shots in the first stanza, with the only puck that got by him coming off a redirect while Montreal was on the power play 5:43 into the frame.

Video: MTL@COL: Grubauer makes a pair of saves on Reilly

"He was solid, I mean right from the get-go I thought he made the saves that he needed to and even a few on top of that," Landeskog said of his goaltender. "Obviously that goal was tipped at the hash marks and it goes top shelf, it's tough to do anything about it. I thought we did a great job. The D did a really solid job in front of him, and like I said, he was real solid for us so good to see him play well."

The Avalanche skaters also helped limit the number of shots that found their way to Grubauer, as the team blocked a season-high 26 pucks in the outings.

"It was really good, we talked about it before the game [how] we need commitment in the defensive zone," Grubauer said of the support his team gave him. "You can't just jump out of the zone and get going to the other side. We got to commit to a defensive game and if you commit the right way, it is going to make things happen in the offensive zone."

Video: Philipp Grubauer after the win vs. the Canadiens

He is 8-0-3 through his last 11 starts, the longest stretch of his career without a regulation loss in games he has started. 

"He gives us a real good chance. He keeps it at 1-0 and the guys are saying the right things on the bench, and eventually we keep trying to go and we capitalize on one of our chances and then we get another one," head coach Jared Bednar said of Grubauer. "I just felt like he looked really solid in the net, like he was in control of the game tonight… That is what we need. We need those guys to take control and be real sharp and on top of their game to get us the chance to sort of find ourselves."

ANOTHER LANDY TALLY: Gabriel Landeskog scored for the third game in a row to bring his season total to 23 goals. He is now tied with the Winnipeg Jets' Patrik Laine for the third most in the league.

The marker came just 35 seconds into the third period, his NHL-high 15th tally in the final frame of regulation. It stood as the eventual game-winner, his league-leading seventh of the campaign. 

Landeskog has recorded eight goals through nine games in the month of December, tied for fourth most in the month.

The Swedish forward has combined with his linemates MacKinnon and Rantanen for 155 points (60 goals, 95 assists) in 2018-19, which is 25 points more than the league's next-closest trio.

Video: MTL@COL: Landeskog bats puck out of air for goal

ZADOROV UPDATE: Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov suffered a lower-body injury in the outing, and head coach Jared Bednar did not have an update on him after the game.

The 6-foot-5 blueliner had one hit and one shot on goal in 7:03 of ice time. He has registered three goals and two assists in 34 contests this campaign.

MORE NOTES: MacKinnon extended his point streak to seven games. He has recorded 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in that stretch.

Colorado has won its last four home contests against Montreal and is 12-2-1 at home against the Canadiens since relocating to Denver in 1995-96. 

The Avalanche is now 11-5-2 against the Eastern Conference this season, including a 5-2-1 record on home ice.

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