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MacKinnon Named NHL's First Star Of The Week

The Avalanche forward led the league in scoring with 11 points in four games

by Callie Parmele /

Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon was named the NHL's first star for the week ending on March 4, the league announced on Monday.

The 22-year-old center registered 11 points (five goals, six assists) in four contests this week to extend his point streak to five games and help the Avalanche earn a 3-0-1 record.

He recorded two game-winning goals this week, including the deciding tally in the Avalanche's 7-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on Friday. It was his 10th game-winner in 2017-18, which ranks second in the league behind only the Calgary Flames' Sean Monahan who has 11.

In that matchup against Minnesota, MacKinnon recorded his second five-point game of the campaign with two goals and three assists. He is the first Avalanche player with two five-point performances in a season since Paul Stastny in 2007-08.

Video: MIN@COL: MacKinnon goes top shelf for a nice PPG

His first marker of the game was also his 30th goal of the season, the first time he has reached the 30-goal mark in his career. His second tally made him the first Avalanche player to score more than 30 goals in a season since 2006-07, when Joe Sakic had 36 and Milan Hejduk had 35.

MacKinnon finished Friday's game with a plus-5 rating becoming the first Avalanche player to do so since Rob Blake was also a plus-5 on March 19, 2006 at the San Jose Sharks.

On Monday, the Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, native had two goals and an assist to factor in on all three Avalanche goals in the team's 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. MacKinnon added another multi-point game on Wednesday with a goal and an assist in the Avs' 5-2 victory against the Calgary Flames.

With two three-point outings this week, MacKinnon has now registered three or more points on 11 occasions, tied with Evgeni Malkin for the most three-point efforts in the NHL this year. It's the most by an Avalanche player since Peter Forsberg had 14 and Hejduk had 11 in 2002-03.

Video: VAN@COL: MacKinnon buries shot from tough angle

MacKinnon is tied for fifth in the league with 77 points (31 goals, 46 assists) in 57 outings and leads the NHL with 1.35 points per game this campaign. Since he returned from an upper-body injury on Feb. 18, MacKinnon has a league-best 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in eight contests.

This is the third time MacKinnon has earned a NHL's three stars of the week honor this season. He was the third star for the week of Nov. 13-19 when he recorded seven points (two goals, five assists) in three contests and the first star for the week of Jan. 15-21 with six points (four goals, two assists) in three outings.

It is the fourth time in 2017-18 an Avalanche player has been named a star of the week, as goaltender Jonathan Bernier earned second star honors for the week of Jan. 1-7.

Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine was named the league's second star of the week and Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov earned third star honors.

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