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MacKinnon's Streak Fourth Longest in Last 20 Years

Avalanche forward has registered a point in every game this season

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

As the calendar flipped from October to November, Nathan MacKinnon's point streak continued with it.

MacKinnon's season-opening stretch is now at 13 games after he scored the Colorado Avalanche's only goal in a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Friday at Pepsi Center.

The forward's streak is the longest active one in the NHL this season, and he is the only player to have a point in every contest his team has played this year. MacKinnon's 13-game run is the fourth longest to begin a campaign in the league over the last 20 years behind those of Dany Heatley (22, 2005-06), Henrik Zetterberg (17, 2007-08) and Jaromir Jagr (15, 1999-00).

Already the longest streak to open a campaign in Avalanche history (since 1995-96), the center now takes sole possession of the fourth spot in the franchise record books, surpassing Joe Sakic's run with the Quebec Nordiques from 1985-86.

Personally, MacKinnon's streak is one short of his career long of 14 contests from Feb. 24 to March 22, 2018. He currently leads the team in all three scoring categories, as he has eight goals, 10 assists (tied) and 18 points this year.

The forward's tally cut Colorado's two-goal deficit in half at 9:54 of the second period, but the squad couldn't find the equalizer despite outshooting Dallas 28-16 in the final 40 minutes of the game.

"We started getting engaged physically, mentally, and we took it over," head coach Jared Bednar said of the final 30 minutes of the contest. "My count, we had maybe nine, 10 scoring chances in the second half of the second period. Up until that point, we had three. You're not going to win. If you don't play 60 minutes, you're not going to win. I don't care who it is against."

Video: DAL@COL: MacKinnon buries wrist shot for PPG

MacKinnon's marker came on the power play and was the 48th man-advantage tally of his career, surpassing Paul Stastny for fourth place on the Avalanche's all-time power-play goals list (since 1995). After an offensive zone faceoff win by Colorado, MacKinnon received a pass from Cale Makar at the left circle and fired a shot that beat goaltender Anton Khudobin through traffic.

The tally seemed to jumpstart Colorado's offense for the remainder of the contest and came at the perfect time. The Avs thought they had scored 30 seconds earlier, but the officials determined the net was off its moorings before the puck crossed the goal line following a video review.

"I think that was the turning point where we decided to start playing," Nazem Kadri said of the no-goal call. "From there on out, dominated the rest of the game. Their goaltender made a few nice saves. Just a little too late."

NICHUSHKIN FACES DALLAS

Valeri Nichushkin spent his first four NHL seasons with the Stars and faced the club for the first time in the regular season on Friday.

Dallas picked Nichushkin at No. 10 overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, and he went on to play in 223 games for the Stars from 2013 to 2019, with a two-year stretch in the middle with CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia.

Nichushkin signed with the Avalanche as a free agent on Aug. 19. He did appear in one preseason game against Dallas, on Sept. 19 in Colorado.

YOUNG DEFENSEMEN FACE OFF

The top two defensemen chosen in the 2017 NHL Draft faced off for the first time in the NHL on Friday.

Colorado's Cale Makar was selected at No. 4 overall, while Dallas' Miro Heiskanen was chosen one pick before. Heiskanen is in his second NHL campaign while Makar is going through his first professional regular season.

With his assist in the game, Makar now has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists), the most among rookies in the league. Heiskanen has eight points (three goals, five assists) this season and finished the contest with a plus-2 rating.

The last time Makar and Heiskanen played against one another was in the preliminary round of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, a tournament that Makar's Canadian team won.

DOWN TO THE DESERT

The Avalanche completes its third back-to-back set of the season on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.

"Just got to have that short-term memory I think," said Nazem Kadri following the loss to the Stars. "It's the great thing about this league, you can get redemption 24 hours later."

Colorado and Arizona are meeting for the second time this year after the Avs won 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 12. It is the only contest that the clubs will play in Arizona in 2019-20.

It will be the fifth time this season that the Avs have played on a Saturday as they open the year with 10 straight contests on the day.

With Philipp Grubauer starting in net on Friday against Dallas, backup goaltender Pavel Francouz is expected to get the start against the Coyotes.

Colorado will play 12 consecutive-night sets this year.

ALSO NOTEWORTHY

Nazem Kadri's helper on Nathan MacKinnon's goal was his 200th career NHL assist.

MacKinnon finished with a career-high 12 shots, the most by any player in a single game this season and the most since Detroit's Dylan Larkin and Ottawa's Brady Tkachuk each registered 12 shots on March 28, 2019. The last Avalanche player to record 12 or more shots in a game was Gabriel Landeskog on Jan. 9, 2019 at Calgary.

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog wasn't present for the game as he was with his wife Melissa, who gave birth to the couple's first child, Linnea Rae, earlier in the day. Landeskog wasn't going to play in the contest anyways as he is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

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