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game recap

MacKinnon gives Avalanche OT victory against Panthers

Scores at 3:03 to extend Colorado's point streak to seven; Huberdeau has two goals for Florida

by Alain Poupart / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

MacKinnon's OT winner

COL@FLA: MacKinnon wins it in OT for Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon beats Sergei Bobrovsky with a beautiful wrist shot to send the Avalanche to an overtime win against the Panthers

  • 01:10 •

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Nathan MacKinnon scored at 3:03 of overtime to give the Colorado Avalanche a 5-4 win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Friday.

MacKinnon, who was a game-time decision because of a leg injury sustained Wednesday in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, scored with a wrist shot from the left face-off circle.

"It's great," MacKinnon said. "It just shows the resilience our team has. We're a very calm group and confident group. Obviously, it's easy to be confident with our record, but I think we [are]. We feel like we're in it. We're only down by two (after the first period). Luckily, I finished it in OT."

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Panthers highlights]

 

Andre Burakovsky had two goals and an assist, Joonas Donskoi had a goal and two assists, Ian Cole had two assists, and Philipp Grubauer made 40 saves for Colorado (6-0-1), which is the only NHL team yet to lose in regulation this season.

The seven-game point streak to open the season matched the second longest in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history (7-0-0 in 1985-86 and 5-0-2 in 1997-98). The longest is 11 (9-0-2), in 2000-01.

"I don't know how good we can be," Burakovsky said. "We have a fantastic team. Just the start we've had has been great. I still think we're doing a lot of mistakes. If we can just eliminate those, get down to maybe half of it, we can look really good."

Video: COL@FLA: Nieto, Burakovsky score 32 seconds apart

Jonathan Huberdeau scored two goals, Anton Stralman had two assists, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 36 saves for the Panthers (2-2-3), who are on a four-game point streak (1-0-3).

"We knew this was a good team," Bobrovsky said. "They're on a roll right now. We have to find a way to win these games."

Huberdeau gave Florida a 1-0 lead at 3:32 of the first period before Frank Vatrano scored shorthanded to make it 2-0 at 8:26.

Donskoi cut it to 2-1 at 10:57, but Huberdeau made it 3-1 at 14:57.

"I don't know what's going on right now," Huberdeau said. "We've got a lead and we cannot lose it every time in the second period. We've got to tighten up some things down defensively, especially our line. We got scored on twice. It can't happen. Obviously, we scored, but we can't get scored on."

Matt Nieto and Burakovsky scored 32 seconds apart for the Avalanche in the second period. Nieto scored on a redirection at 11:23 to make it 3-2, and Burakovsky tied it 3-3 on a wrist shot from the right circle at 11:55.

"I've been talking a lot and working a lot on shooting more," Burakovsky said. "The previous years I've always been looking up trying to find a pass instead of shooting. It's something I'm trying to get rid of. Obviously, I got a good release. It was nice to see it go in."

Florida took a 4-3 lead at 14:05 on Brett Connolly's goal, but Colorado needed only 16 seconds to tie the score again when Burakovsky made it 4-4 at 14:21.

Grubauer stopped Huberdeau on a breakaway 6:33 into the third period, then made a spectacular save on Aleksander Barkov on a power play at 9:41, getting his arm on a shot heading into an open net.

In overtime, Grubauer made two saves against defenseman Mike Matheson, first on a breakaway 52 seconds in and then with his glove on a wrist shot from the slot at 1:59.

"We needed [Grubauer] to make some saves, especially late in the game," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "He was really good in the third. I didn't love his start. I thought he was fighting the puck a little bit, but when we needed him to make a save for us, he did it."

Video: COL@FLA: Burakovsky responds quickly again to tie it

 

They said it

"He's amazing. We need to do a better job of limiting those [chances], especially last shift of the third. We can't really let up a quality chance like that. But [Philipp Grubauer] has been our best player for a year, year and a half now. The way he carried us into the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs and in the playoffs. He's kind of rolling over from last season and looks great." -- Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon

"We want complete games. We had a complete first period, we were trending in the right direction for the whole 60, and we let off the gas there, weren't pursuing the puck or keeping it. We got slow as that period progressed." -- Panthers coach Joel Quenneville

 

Need to know

The Panthers used 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Defenseman Mark Pysyk played 7:18 at right wing. … Huberdeau has three goals and five assists during a six-game point streak. … Panthers forward Evgenii Dadonov had his four-game goal streak end. … Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen had his six-game point streak end (four goals, six assists). 

 

What's next

Avalanche: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, ALT, NHL.TV)

Panthers: At the Nashville Predators on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Video: MacKinnon scores OT winner, Avalanche top Panthers

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