Makar has three assists, Avalanche top Ducks to extend point streak to 11
Rantanen scores 20th of season for Colorado, which is 9-0-2 since March 10by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Independent Correspondent
DENVER -- Cale Makar had three assists to help the Colorado Avalanche extend their point streak to 11 games with a 5-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks at Ball Arena on Monday.
Mikko Rantanen scored his 20th goal of the season, and Nathan MacKinnon had two assists for Colorado (22-8-4), which is 9-0-2 since March 10. Philipp Grubauer made 13 saves for his 100th NHL win.
"It's nice to score some goals," Rantanen said. "That's not the main thing why I go to the games, but I know I have to help the team on the offensive side of it. [Gabriel Landeskog] and [MacKinnon] are doing a good job of helping me get chances. I can't complain. I try to do my best. If I can find the back of the net, that's a good thing."
Danton Heinen and Troy Terry scored, and Ryan Miller made 43 saves for Anaheim (11-20-6), which went 2-3-0 on a five-game road trip, including a 3-2 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.
"I do think it is hard to do on a back-to-back when these guys have been sitting here licking their chops waiting for you," Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. "You can't look at the standings and the players' names on the other teams. You've got to come out and compete, and compete hard. I do think we did that at certain points, but at the end, the travel, the back-to-back, was too much for us against that group."
Video: ANA@COL: Makar sets up Nichushkin to extend lead
Grubauer has started 28 of 34 games for the Avalanche this season, has gone 9-0-1 in his past 10 games, and set NHL career highs for wins (21) and shutouts (five). He is 100-59-21 in 203 NHL games.
"He's been amazing for us, and tonight was no different," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "When we had breakdowns, he was there to close the door and make the big saves when we needed them. He hasn't been all that busy on most nights, but it's not just the quantity of shots that makes a goaltender good. When we need a big save at key times of games or on penalty kills, he's been there for us all year."
Rantanen gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 2:56 of the first period. He received a pass from MacKinnon, moved around defenseman Josh Manson, and scored with a backhand.
Heinen tied 1-1 at 9:14 when he skated to the net for a tap-in from the crease after Max Comtois passed from the left side between defenseman Devon Toews' legs.
Tyson Jost gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead at 3:59 of the second period, putting in a rebound from between the circles after Ryan Graves' point shot.
"It was a great game for us," Jost said. "We knew they were on a back-to-back and we wanted to get after them right away. It was a great effort by our team, and we're rolling right now, so we want to keep that up."
Video: ANA@COL: Landeskog deflects Makar's shot for PPG
Landeskog increased the lead to 3-1 at 16:20 with a tip of Makar's shot from just inside the blue line on the power play.
Terry forced a turnover in the Avalanche end and scored on a breakaway to get the Ducks within 3-2 at 3:19 of the third period.
"I'm kind of upset it's our last game here," said Terry, a Denver native who played at the University of Denver for three seasons and has scored four of his seven goals this season against the Avalanche. "For some reason, my legs have felt good when we've been here. With me, it's all about my confidence and how I'm feeling. They're a fun team to play. They're fast, they're offensive, and they play a fast game."
J.T. Compher gave Colorado a 4-2 lead at 7:26 with a shot from a sharp angle under Miller's right arm.
Valeri Nichushkin scored from in front to make it 5-2 at 9:30 after Makar went end-to-end, circled behind the net, and passed through the goalmouth.
"Their gap was a little farther back, so I figured I would just kind of take it," Makar said. "I didn't really plan on going around the net, I wanted to try and feed it in front. [Nichushkin] made a good play in terms of driving to the net, and I just kind of tried to throw it around and hope for a good bounce, and luckily it went right on his stick, and he put it right in."
NOTES: Forward Rickard Rakell, Anaheim's leading scorer with 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists), missed his first game because of an upper-body injury sustained Sunday against the Blues. … The Ducks failed to convert on two power plays and are 1-for-24 in the past 12 games. ... Grubauer is the third Germany-born goalie to win 100 NHL games, joining Olie Kolzig (303) and Thomas Greiss (139). ... Rantanen has scored 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in the past 10 games. … MacKinnon has scored 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in the past 10 games. … Landeskog has scored 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in the past nine games.