Nathan MacKinnon scored twice to reach 30 goals in three consecutive seasons for the Colorado Avalanche in a 6-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Pepsi Center on Monday. The center is the fifth player in Avalanche/Nordiques history to score 30 in at least three straight seasons and second since the Avalanche relocated to Denver in 1995.
Cale Makar had two assists to tie the Colorado/Quebec record for most points in a season by a rookie defenseman, set by Bruce Bell of the Nordiques in 1984-85 (37 points; six goals, 31 assists in 75 games). Makar, also with 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists in 41 games), is on pace to finish 2019-20 with 67 points, the fourth-most in one season by a first-year player at the position in NHL history behind Larry Murphy of the Los Angeles Kings (76 points; 16 goals, 60 assists in 1980-81), Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers (71 points; 23 goals, 48 assists in 1988-89) and Gary Suter of the Calgary Flames (68 points; 18 goals, 50 assists in 1985-86).
The Avalanche (28-15-6) have won three in a row after going 0-2-2 in their previous four games. They ended a five-game homestand without a regulation loss (3-0-2) to earn at least one point in at least five games on home ice for the first time since going 5-0-1 from Oct. 25-Nov. 8, 2005.
Acciari delivers for Panthers in final seconds
Noel Acciari scored the go-ahead goal with six seconds left for the Florida Panthers in a 5-4 victory against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.
The Panthers have won five in a row, tied with the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets for the longest active winning streak in the NHL, after the center scored their second-latest go-ahead goal in the third period (regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs), one second behind center Vincent Trocheck in a 2-1 win at the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 20, 2017. It was also Acciari's Panthers-high fifth game-winning goal this season and second that ended a comeback victory (6-4 at the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 14, 2019).
Florida (27-16-5) is third in the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs (25-17-7). The Panthers were five points behind the Maple Leafs before their winning streak started Jan. 9.
Quenneville back in Chicago as Panthers coach
Joel Quenneville returns to Chicago for the first time since he was hired as Panthers coach to face the Blackhawks at United Center on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSCH, FS-F, NHL.TV).
Quenneville guided the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup championships (2010, 2013 and 2015) in 11 seasons (2008-19). His 917 regular-season wins are second in NHL history behind Scotty Bowman (1,244) and he was chosen by NHL.com and NHL.com International staff members as the Coach of the Decade. Quenneville's Stanley Cup wins also earned the Blackhawks the honor of Franchise of the Decade.