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MacKinnon Extends Career-Long Point Streak to 15 Games

Avalanche forward has 26 points during the stretch

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Nathan MacKinnon set a new career high and now has the third-longest point streak in Colorado Avalanche history.

MacKinnon had an assist in the Avalanche's 5-2 loss at the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday to lengthen his point streak to 15 games, trailing only Paul Stastny and Alex Tanguay for the longest stretch since the team moved to Denver for the 1995-96 season. Stastny holds the NHL rookie record of 20 straight outings with a point from Feb. 3 to March 17, 2007, while Alex Tanguay previously held the Avs mark with a 16-game run from Feb. 6 to March 7, 2003.

The Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, native now has sole possession of the longest point streak in the NHL this season after the Carolina Hurricanes' Dougie Hamilton previously held the honor at 14 games (Feb. 27-March 27). MacKinnon had reached his previous career high of 14 games twice before, once during the regular season from Feb. 24 to March 22, 2018 and then again during last year's playoffs (Aug. 2-Sept. 2, 2020).

Since the streak began on March 27 against Vegas, MacKinnon has recorded nine goals and 17 assists, and his 26 points are the second most in the league in that time. Only the New York Rangers' Artemi Panarin has more with 27 points, but he's played in three more games than MacKinnon.

Overall, MacKinnon ranks third in the NHL scoring race with 61 points, tallying 19 goals and 42 assists.

Since 2015-16, the center's current run marks the ninth instance and he becomes the seventh player to have a point streak of 15 or more games. Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres was the last to do it with points in 17 consecutive contests from Nov. 16-Dec. 17, 2019. The Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane, who owns three such streaks in the last six years, also had a 15-game run earlier in that campaign (Oct. 27-Nov. 30, 2019).

MacKinnon had the lone assist on Ryan Graves' goal at 17:06 of the second period on Wednesday. That cut Vegas' lead to 3-2 at the time, but the Knights added two more scores in the third frame to claim the victory.

OFFENSE FROM DEFENSE

Both of Colorado's goals on Wednesday came from defensemen with Devon Toews and Ryan Graves finding the back of the net in the first and second stanzas, respectively.

Toews' marker was his career-high seventh of the season, surpassing his previous personal best of six goals he set during the 2019-20 campaign with the New York Islanders (68 games). Toews leads all Colorado blueliners in goals and plus/minus rating (plus-23) and is third in points (24).

Graves' tally was his second of the season.

The Avalanche ranks third in the NHL in scoring among defensemen with 119 points (20 goals, 99 assists).

HEALTHY AT HOME?

The Avalanche returns home for two games on Friday and Saturday against the San Jose Sharks, the only contests at Ball Arena in a 12-game stretch.

Colorado could get goaltender Philipp Grubauer and forwards Joonas Donskoi and Mikko Rantanen back in the lineup for those games after all three were removed from the league's COVID-19 protocol last week. In Grubauer's case, he joined the team in St. Louis earlier this week to work with goaltending coach Jussi Parkkila in order to get back to being game ready.

"We have the opportunity to go home and then turn things around against San Jose," said head coach Jared Bednar after the Avs went 1-3-0 on the road trip. "We'll get some reinforcements back in the lineup, should have some guys back in and healthy. It will change the dynamic of our team."

The Avalanche presently has 10 players on its injury/illness list.

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