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game recap

MacKinnon, Rantanen propel Avalanche past Blackhawks

Combine for six points to help Colorado hand Chicago fifth loss in six games

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each had two goals and an assist to help the Colorado Avalanche defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3 at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

The Avalanche (6-5-0) rebounded from a 7-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday.


[WATCH: Blackhawks vs. Avalanche highlights]


"We don't play again until Thursday and the way we lost on Friday, to lose again today would have been tough," MacKinnon said. "To sit for four days, it would have been a big negative at the practice rink."

Captain Gabriel Landeskog held a brief pregame meeting to make sure everyone had the right mindset.

"It wasn't going to be like it was last year, here we go again," MacKinnon said. "Gabe relayed that to us. I don't know if anyone was thinking like that, but it's a brand new season, we have totally different players and we did a great job rebounding tonight."

The Blackhawks (5-5-2), who lost 2-1 to the Nashville Predators on Friday, have lost three games in a row and five of six.

"We've been playing good hockey at times, sporadically, but obviously it's not good enough," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We get ourselves down in games and it's just too little too late to try and come back. Throughout our games there's some good things here and there. We've just got to be way more consistent.

"We want to look at the big picture and stay positive. There's got to be urgency, but we can't overreact."

Rantanen scored two first-period goals and MacKinnon had a goal and an assist when the Avalanche took a 3-0 lead.

Video: CHI@COL: Rantanen nets second goal on power play

"It was a big bounce-back," Rantanen said. "We knew last night was pathetic, it can't happen. It was a big game for us."

Rantanen scored his first goal in 10 games, since the season opener, at 3:24. MacKinnon was behind the net when he passed to Rantanen in the slot for a shot by goalie Anton Forsberg's glove.

MacKinnon made it 2-0 on a power play at 15:20 for his second goal of the season. He converted Alexander Kerfoot's pass shortly after Chicago's John Hayden shot off the right goal post while shorthanded on a 2-on-1 rush.

Rantanen scored his second of the game and third overall at 19:56 on a power play after Ryan Hartman was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking Erik Johnson.

MacKinnon scored his second goal of the game and third of the season at 2:56 of the second period for a 4-0 Colorado lead. Sven Andrighetto made it 5-0 at 6:44 with his fourth goal.

Video: CHI@COL: Barrie earns 200th point on Andrighetto goal

"There's going to be ups and downs," MacKinnon said. "I knew if I was aggressive and stayed even keel, good things are going to happen. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves when we don't get results, but we were playing solid and getting chances and it was a matter of time before they started going in."

Goalie Corey Crawford replaced Forsberg (15 saves) after Andrighetto's goal, and the Blackhawks climbed within 5-2 with goals from Nick Schmaltz and Artem Anisimov.

Schmaltz tipped Michal Kempny's shot behind goalie Jonathan Bernier (39 saves) at 7:53, and Anisimov scored on a 2-on-1 rush at 14:05.

The Avalanche made it 6-2 at 8:45 of the third period when Rocco Grimaldi, making his season debut after being recalled Thursday from San Antonio of the American Hockey League, tipped in Johnson's shot.

Hartman responded for the Blackhawks at 15:05 to make it 6-3.


Goal of the game

MacKinnon scored at 2:56 of the second period.

Video: CHI@COL: MacKinnon nets second on Landeskog's feed


Save of the game

Bernier gloved Hartman's breakaway at 6:51 of the third period.

Video: CHI@COL: Bernier flashes the leather to rob Hartman


Highlight of the game 

MacKinnon's power-play goal at 15:20 of the first period.

Video: CHI@COL: MacKinnon picks the corner for smooth PPG


They said it

"Obviously we didn't get off to a great start. We dug ourselves a big hole and couldn't find our way back. We've just got to keep battling and work on our starts a little bit, make sure we're coming out fast. That was a hungry team. They came out quick and put it to us right away." -- Blackhawks forward Nick Schmaltz

"The big guns led the charge tonight. That line -- Landeskog, MacKinnon, Rantanen -- they were flying right out of the gate. They wanted to make sure we got off on the right foot and they led us to victory." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

"We came out strong and that's what we wanted. This is something we have to learn, this is our building. It's a tough building to play in with the altitude. We, as a team, are used to it. We still have to clean up a little bit when we get the lead, but everyone competed hard and wanted that win." -- Avalanche goalie Jonathan Bernier

Need to know

The Blackhawks went 0-for-5 on power plays and are 1-for-21 in the past five games. ... Chicago defenseman Gustav Forsling sustained an upper-body injury in the first period.


What's next

Blackhawks: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-CR, NHL.TV) 


Video: MacKinnon, Rantanen lift Avs past Blackhawks, 6-3

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