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game recap

Avalanche score nine against Predators for first win in six games

Get six goals in eight minutes in second period; MacKinnon leaves with injury

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Avalanche's six-pack of goals

NSH@COL: Avalanche erupt for six goals in 2nd period

The Avalanche score six goals against the Predators in a span of 8:00 to set a club record for the fastest six goals in a game

  • 01:52 •

DENVER -- Joonas Donskoi got his first NHL hat trick for the Colorado Avalanche, who scored six goals in eight minutes in the second period in a 9-4 win against the Nashville Predators at Pepsi Center on Thursday.

"That felt good," Donskoi said. "I don't think I've ever scored a hat trick in any league, so it was fun."

Andre Burakovsky, Cale Makar and Ryan Graves each had a goal and two assists, and Pavel Francouz made 20 saves for the Avalanche (9-5-2), who were 0-4-1 in their previous five games.

 

[WATCH: All Predators vs. Avalanche highlights]

 

"We've been talking about scoring more goals," Donskoi said. "We've been struggling the last couple of games finding the back of the net. So that was the main focus for tonight, getting more guys to the net and for our [defensemen] to find the lanes to get the pucks to the net."

Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, who had a goal and three assists, and defenseman Nikita Zadorov did not play in the third period after each sustained an upper-body injury; Zadorov left at 4:33, MacKinnon at 17:53.

"I don't know on [Zadorov], but with Nate, it was precautionary," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said.

Video: NSH@COL: Donskoi records hat trick in Avalanche win

Pekka Rinne allowed five goals on 22 shots before being replaced in the second period by Juuse Saros, who made 19 saves for the Predators (9-5-2). Nashville is 1-2-1 in its past four games.

"I'm going to be honest, you're not going to get much tonight, so I'm going to go and address it with them and we'll take care of things," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said.

After Matt Duchene put Nashville ahead 3-2 at 4:55 of the second period on the power play by chipping in a loose puck in front, Donskoi tied the game 3-3 at 5:26 with a turnaround in the slot.

Graves scored 20 seconds later to give Colorado a 4-3 lead, and Burakovsky extended the lead to 5-3 at 6:57 when his shot from the right face-off circle on a 2-on-1 went under Rinne's arm.

Matt Nieto made it 6-3 at 7:47 with a shorthanded goal on a 2-on-1, and Matt Calvert put in the rebound of MacKinnon's point shot at 10:01 for a 7-3 lead.

Donskoi pushed the lead to 8-3 at 13:26, tipping in Erik Johnson's shot.

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick

Craig Smith made it 8-4 at 12:41 of the third period, but Donskoi completed the hat trick when he split the defense and scored in front on the power play to make it 9-4 at 17:53.

"We didn't play well the last couple games, but we definitely bounced back," Burakovsky said. "I think everyone was good today, everyone was on their toes. Everyone was doing the dirty work, everyone was putting in the work. We just cleaned up things and it worked and good things happened.

"We were talking about we had to bounce back after having a dry streak for a bit (two goals in previous three games). We had a meeting after the last game (a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday) and I just think we all came together as a group."

Makar gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead 49 seconds into the first period on a shot from the right point through a screen.

Ryan Ellis tied it 1-1 at 12:08 following a failed clear by Graves, but MacKinnon made it 2-1 at 17:56 with a shot from the high slot on a 5-on-3 power play.

Filip Forsberg tied it 2-2 at 1:25 of the second period when he beat Francouz five-hole from the right circle.

"I feel like we lost every battle," Predators captain Roman Josi said. "We didn't compete. I mean, we got embarrassed out there. I think most of the things came from us. Even in the first, I thought we didn't play that well. We took too many penalties, we needed way more chances, and the second was even worse."

Video: NSH@COL: MacKinnon converts on two-man advantage

 

They said it

"They're a heck of a team over there, they have a ton of speed. (Colorado general manager) Joe (Sakic) has done an unbelievable job over there with their team, and we're going to need a better effort against them the rest of the season." -- Predators forward Matt Duchene

"We were on pucks early, good intensity, playing the right way, real purpose to our game, and the next line followed it up. I liked our first period and I liked our second period. Third period, it's tough to stay on the gas." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

 

Need to know

The Avalanche lost their previous eight home games against the Predators (0-7-1). … The six goals in eight minutes set a Colorado record. The Quebec Nordiques held the previous franchise record with six goals in 8:06 against the Washington Capitals on Feb. 22, 1981. … Forsberg has four points (two goals, two assists) in the past two games. … Colorado went 2-for-6 on the power play after going 0-for-12 in its previous two games.

 

What's next

Predators: At the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Video: Avalanche score nine in win against Predators

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