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Wrap-Up: Barrie Becomes Franchise Leader in Goals by a D-Man

Barrie scored the 73rd goal of his career in Colorado's 4-3 win on Wednesday

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Tyson Barrie has now moved his name to the top of every defensive scoring category in Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques franchise history.

Going into Colorado's game with the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday, Barrie had held the title of the highest scoring defenseman in terms of points and had recorded the most assists by a rear guard in franchise history, but he needed to find the back of the net one more time to take sole possession as the defensive leader in goals.

Barrie can now add that additional designation to his list of accomplishments after scoring in the second period of the contest.

He registered the 73rd tally of his career to take sole possession of first place on the franchise's all-time list of goals by a defenseman, a record that had previously been held by Sandis Ozolinsh since the 1999-2000 season.

It was his third point (one goal, two assists) in the Avalanche's 4-3 win against the Golden Knights at Pepsi Center and improved his season total to 56 points (12 goals, 44 assists), one shy of his career high that he set in the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: VGK@COL: Barrie tallies to set franchise record

Putting his name at the top of Colorado's archives wasn't a goal of the now 27-year-old when the Avalanche selected him in the third round (64th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft.

"It is really cool, not something I ever set out to do, I didn't ever think I would be in that position," said Barrie. "I am grateful for the opportunity and to be honest, I was just happy I made the NHL when I got here. To have it come this far and I have been here a long time now, it has become home for me, it is a really cool thing for me to have."

Barrie made his NHL debut on Feb. 7, 2012 versus the Chicago Blackhawks and scored his first goal the next season on Feb 18, 2013 against the Nashville Predators. 

Now, the 5-foot-10, 190-pound rear guard has skated in 479 contests in the NHL and has recorded 304 points (73 goals, 231 assists), all in an Avalanche sweater.

"I think my first year I had 10 games played and zero points. I was just trying to find my way, hoping I would get a chance to play in the NHL," Barrie added. "It has obviously come a long way since then and to have that many points you obviously play with a lot of great players. I got to give a shout-out to [Nathan MacKinnon], he is probably in on half my points. It is nice to be surrounded with guys who can score and set you up."

Video: Tyson Barrie on setting another franchise record 

The tally also marked the 12th of the year for Barrie. He has hit the 10-goal mark in five different seasons throughout this NHL tenure and is the first defenseman in franchise history to score 10 or more times in that many years. Barrie also joins Ozolinsh (four times) as the only blueliners in Avs/Nordiques history to record three different 50-point campaigns.

Barrie's 44 assists this season is a new career high and is the most helpers by an Avalanche D-man since Ray Bourque had 52 in 2000-01.

Barrie has recorded 12 points (six goals, six assists) in the month of March, ranking second on the Avalanche to MacKinnon's 13, and his 56 points this year tie him for sixth in the league with the Pittsburgh Penguins' Kris Letang for defensemen scoring.

"To have a couple of these records, it is a great feeling, but the best part right now is to be playing meaningful hockey with five games left in the year," said Barrie. "It is a lot of fun, I think the guys are embracing it and we are trying everything we can to get into the playoffs."

Colorado sits in the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference and now has two more points than the next closest team in the West, the Arizona Coyotes. The Avs return to action on Friday when they host the Coyotes.

MILESTONE NIGHTS: Colorado's win marked the 500th regular-season victory at home since the franchise moved to the Mile High City in 1995. It was also the 800th home victory in Avalanche/Nordiques history.

In addition, the triumph was the 100th career NHL coaching victory for Avalanche bench boss Jared Bednar.

"It feels good, big win. It was a big win for our team and I didn't even know that [milestone], but it is good to know," Bednar said.

Video: Coach Jared Bednar after the Avs' win over VGK

NIETO BACK IN: Forward Matt Nieto returned to game action after missing 15 games with an lower-body injury that he sustained at the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 22. Nieto recorded two shots on goal, two hits and two blocked shots in 15:37 of ice time.

"It is never fun watching from the outside, especially when it's as long as it was," Nieto said before the outing. "I am really excited to be back. The boys have done a really good job, despite all the injuries that have been going on with the team. They have done a great job, and I am excited to get back in and help."

In 59 contests this season, the left wing has recorded 22 points (four goals, 18 assists) and leads all Avalanche forwards with an average of 2:44 short-handed ice time per game.

12 AND SIX: Head coach Jared Bednar went back to dressing 12 forwards and six defensemen against Vegas after he previously used a non-traditional roster of 11 forwards and seven defensemen for the past five outings.

"It is not that big of a difference to be honest with you," Bednar said of the change prior to the game. "We have some guys that don't see a lot of minutes, and we have other guys that play a lot."

Rookie defenseman Ryan Graves served as the team's healthy scratch with Nieto getting back into the lineup.

MORE AVALANCHE NOTES: The Avalanche has scored the first goal in seven straight games (5-1-1 record) and is 27-5-6 when finding the back of the net first this season.

The Avs concluded their season series against Vegas, finishing 2-1-0 versus the Knights. Colorado is 3-0-0 all-time against Vegas at Pepsi Center.

Matt Calvert's first-period goal was his 25th point of the season, a new career high. Calvert surpassed his previous career best of 24 points, which he achieved three times (2013-14, 2015-16 and 2017-18 with Columbus).

Tyson Jost notched an assist to register his 23rd point of the season and eclipse his point total (22) from his rookie campaign in 2017-18.

Nathan MacKinnon registered two points (one goal, one assist) and now has 94 points (38 goals, 56 assists) in 2018-19, tied for sixth in the NHL (Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby). He is one goal shy of matching his career high of 39 markers in 2017-18.

Philipp Grubauer earned his career-best 16th win of the season (15 in 2017-18 with the Washington Capitals) and made his sixth consecutive start of the season, setting a new career high for consecutive starts (five games: Dec. 23, 2013 - Jan. 2, 2014). Grubauer is 5-0-1 over his last six outings.

Gabriel Bourque scored his first game-winning goal of the season and the sixth of his career (last: Feb. 11, 2018 at Buffalo).

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