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game recap

Avalanche top Senators for fifth win in six games

Makar has goal, assist for Colorado; Ottawa has lost four straight

by Callum Fraser / Independent Correspondent

Makar extends lead with PPG

COL@OTT: Makar cranks home heavy one-timer for PPG

Cale Makar rifles a heavy slap shot from the point on the power play to pad the Avalanche lead to 3-1 in the 2nd period

  • 00:43 •

OTTAWA -- Cale Makar had a goal and an assist, and the Colorado Avalanche won for the fifth time in their past six games, 4-1 against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.

"I mean, I'm not too surprised with his play anymore," Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri said of Makar. "It's just kind of at the point where we expect it now. That's how good he is. He's going to bring it every single night. He holds himself to a high standard and he's definitely accountable for such a young age."

Philipp Grubauer made 25 saves for Colorado (30-16-6), which moved ahead of the Dallas Stars for second place in the Central Division.

"No passengers on the bench," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said of his team's effort. "[Defense] corps were all involved, all of our lines played pretty well. ... The simplicity of our game -- move it, shoot it -- early on was real effective for us, gave us some scoring chances. When we put pucks in on the forecheck, we were tenacious on pucks in turning them over, creating some more scoring opportunities."


[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Senators highlights]


Brady Tkachuk scored, and Marcus Hogberg made 30 saves for Ottawa (18-25-11), which is 0-2-2 in its past four games.

"You have to come out and establish a forecheck, you've got to shoot pucks," Senators coach D.J. Smith said. "We came out too fancy against a team that has way too much talent to play that way."

Valeri Nichushkin forced a turnover on Ron Hainsey in the Senators zone before skating to the top of the right circle and taking a return pass from Andre Burakovsky to give the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 7:57 of the first period.

Video: COL@OTT: Nichushkin wires home opening wrist shot

Colorado had the first 13 shots on goal in the first.

"I liked it a lot. First period was really good," Bednar said. "I thought we were getting above pucks, tracking was good, [defensive] gaps were good, not giving up free shots on our net."

Tkachuk scored top shelf on a breakaway to tie it 1-1 with 50 seconds remaining in the first.

"Every time I had a Grade A chance there, they were on one knee making the block," Tkachuk said of Colorado, which blocked 17 shots. "That just showed how ready they were to play and how important the two points were for them tonight. We played better as the game went on, but we just need to be better from the drop of the puck."

Video: COL@OTT: Tkachuk buries wrist shot on the break

Matt Nieto gave Colorado a 2-1 lead with a one-timer off a pass from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare at 4:08 of the second period. 

"We're such a deep team that it's tough for teams to stay with us," Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon said. "It's awesome to see guys step up."

Makar scored with a slap shot from the point on the power play to make it 3-1 at 8:03 of the second, and J.T. Compher scored with a wrist shot short side on a 2-on-1 to extend the lead to 4-1 at 3:38 of the third period.


They said it

"It's coming. Not just in the [offensive] zone, but off the rush and with guys joining the attack. … I think there's a time and place for them to activate and help us, and right now we're doing a good job in picking our spots." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar on the offense from the defensemen

"You know what, I just didn't think he had it tonight. He's probably frustrated, but I just didn't think he had it. I wanted to play the guys who I thought were going." -- Senators coach D.J. Smith on limiting forward Anthony Duclair to 10:09 of ice time


Need to know

Makar is the first NHL rookie to reach 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists) this season. … Senators forward Nick Paul had four hits and three blocks in 12:38 of ice time in his return after missing the previous 10 games because of a lower body injury. "It's a tough game to judge him on," Smith said. "He works hard, he does things the right way. He's just trying to get his bearings out there, and you know, I thought he was fine. He'll continue to get better." ... Tkachuk had 10 hits.


What's next

Avalanche: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, ALT2, NHL.TV)

Senators: At the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, SN, TVAS, NHL.TV)

Video: Nieto, Makar propel Avalanche to 4-1 victory

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