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Nathan MacKinnon, Alyssa Laabs Named West Division Stars of April

MacKinnon recorded 21 points in 13 games, Laabs has worked in critical care for seven years

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and Alyssa Laabs, an associate nurse manager in the intensive care unit (ICU) at UCHealth Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, have been named the NHL West Division's Stars for April, the league announced on Saturday.

MacKinnon played in all 13 of the Avs' games in the month and recorded 21 points (nine goals, 21 assists)--tied for the third most in the league. The 25-year-old's 21 points set a new franchise record for April, topping Joe Sakic's previous mark of 17 that he set with the Quebec Nordiques in April 1995.

Laabs, who has worked in critical care for seven years, made sure the hospital's staff was prepared and was bedside to take care of the sickest COVID-19 patients when the pandemic surged beyond the walls of the ICU. She also organized a "Wellness Wednesday" program for the hospital's nursing staff, providing those who still were feeling the effects of the pandemic a space to share their stories so they could confidently return to the amazing work they do.

MacKinnon set a new career high in the month by posting a 15-game point streak. Beginning on March 27 and going through April 28, the center had nine goals and 17 assists and produced the longest point streak in the NHL this season, besting the Carolina Hurricanes' Dougie Hamilton's previous mark of 14 games (Feb. 27-March 27). 

Video: COL@MIN: MacKinnon rips puck home on breakaway

MacKinnon had seven multi-point efforts in April, including two three-point performances in back-to-back games on April 22-24. He factored on more than half of Colorado's goals during the month (21 of 40), topping all players in the West Division.

The Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, native averaged 1.62 points per game in the month, second highest in the league.

Eleven of MacKinnon's points in April came on the power play, factoring on 11 of the Avalanche's 14 man-advantage markers in the month. Colorado's 25-percent success rate on the power play in April ranked seventh in the NHL.

Video: ARI@COL: MacKinnon extends point streak to 10 games

MacKinnon's efforts helped the Avs post a 9-4-0 record in April, the franchise's most wins and points (18) ever in the month. It was the Avalanche's 13th consecutive "winning" month going back to February 2019, extending its franchise record.

On the season, MacKinnon ranks fourth in the NHL with 61 points (19 goals, 42 assists) through 44 total contests, sitting among the league leaders in power-play points (third; 25), shots on goal (third; 184) and assists (tied for fifth; 42).

MacKinnon is the second Avalanche player to be named to the league's stars of the month this year after goaltender Philipp Grubauer was the star of the West Division for March. It is MacKinnon's fourth time being recognized as a star of the month. He previously was named First Star in November 2017 and picked up Second Star honors in November 2018 and November 2019.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand was the star of the month in the East Division, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews was recognized in the North Division and Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho was the star in the Central Division.

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