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game recap

Avalanche score seven against Wild

MacKinnon has two goals, three assists; Colorado gains in Central

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- Nathan MacKinnon scored two goals and had three assists, and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Minnesota Wild 7-1 at Pepsi Center on Friday.

"A lot of things to like about that game," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "We scored on the power play, we scored grinding down low, we scored in the offensive zone, we scored off the rush. A lot of the things we talked about doing, we did it, and we did it consistently."


[WATCH: All Wild vs. Avalanche highlights]


Mikko Rantanen had four points, Tyson Barrie had a goal and an assist, and Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves for the Avalanche (35-24-5), who have won three straight and are 13-1-0 in their past 14 home games. Colorado trails the Anaheim Ducks by one point for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Video: MIN@COL: Rantanen buries MacKinnon's impressive feed

"We're not just trying to chase the last wild card, we're trying to be a top team in the division and solidify a guaranteed spot in the top three," said MacKinnon, who also had five points against the Washington Capitals on Nov. 16. "Tonight's a big start. Every game is so important, four-point games. We got some good players in here and we're feeling it."

Mikko Koivu scored, and Devan Dubnyk made 12 saves for the Wild (36-22-7), who have lost two games in a row after winning five straight. Minnesota leads the Dallas Stars by two points for third in the Central Division and is six points behind the Winnipeg Jets for second.

"We couldn't stop the MacKinnon line, it's safe to say," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "In (the past) two games he's got [eight] points against us. We couldn't stop him and the second period, all you have to do is win the period. When they got the third one it was like, 'Uh oh, here we go again.'"

Barrie scored off the rush with a shot between the circles at 5:54 of the second period to make it 3-0.

MacKinnon scored at 8:08 to make it 4-0, and Carl Soderberg extended the lead to 5-0 at 10:39 with a shot that redirected in off Eric Staal's skate. Dubnyk was pulled following the goal and replaced by Alex Stalock, who made seven saves.

"Great players are going to make plays. A guy like MacKinnon, who skates and handles the puck like he does, the best way to defend him is not give him that," Dubnyk said. "There's going to be times he creates because he's that good. If it's over and over and over again, it's not going to be a positive result for us."

Video: MIN@COL: MacKinnon buries his second of the night

Rantanen scored off a rebound at 12:40 to make it 6-0.

"The start we had, we were buzzing right away," Rantanen said. "In the second period we came out strong. Four goals so it was kind of game over. Then we played smart hockey in the third and didn't give them a lot."

Koivu scored on a delayed penalty at 17:07 to make it 6-1.

Matt Nieto scored at 7:46 of the third period to make it 7-1 on a one-timer.

Gabriel Landeskog redirected Rantanen's shot past a screened Dubnyk at 9:42 of the first period to make it 1-0, and MacKinnon scored on a power play at 12:08 to give the Avalanche a 2-0 lead with a wrist shot that beat Dubnyk glove side.

"Every game is so big now," MacKinnon said. "The Wild, they are a really good hockey team. We couldn't take them lightly and obviously, it wasn't their best night, but I thought we earned every goal we got. We played well."

Video: MIN@COL: Rantanen sets up Barrie for 100th NHL point

Goal of the game

MacKinnon's goal at 12:08 of first period.

Video: MIN@COL: MacKinnon goes top shelf for a nice PPG


Save of the game

Varlamov's save on Nino Niederreiter at 1:55 of first period.

Video: MIN@COL: Varlamov denies Niederreiter in tight

Highlight of the game

Soderberg's goal at 10:39 of second period.

Video: MIN@COL: Soderberg banks home a no-look backhander


They said it

"It was embarrassing. There's [17] more games and we've got to get up for them. This was a brutal game. It's a busy month. We can't dwell on this. We know we played (poorly)." -- Wild defenseman Matt Dumba


"They've been exceptional, especially on home ice. They're hard to handle for most everyone who comes in here. That's what we need, especially as we get down the stretch. They're leading the charge." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar on the Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen line 


Video: MIN@COL: Landeskog redirects Rantanen's long wrister


Need to know

MacKinnon is the first Avalanche player to score more than 30 goals in a season since 2006-07, when Joe Sakic scored 36 and Milan Hejduk scored 35. His 56 points at home (23 goals, 33 assists) lead the NHL and are the most by an Avalanche player since Peter Forsberg had 56 in 2002-03. ... Rantanen got his 100th career point with his assist on Barrie's goal. ... Avalanche forward Colin Wilson left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury.

What's next

Wild: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: Host the Nashville Predators on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; SN, ALT, FS-TN, NHL.TV)


Video: MacKinnon, Avalanche rout Wild in 7-1 win

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