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DENVER -- Nathan MacKinnon scored a hat trick, including his 50th goal of the season, and the Colorado Avalanche won 5-2 against the Minnesota Wild at Ball Arena on Tuesday.

MacKinnon also had an assist, giving him 137 points (51 goals, 86 assists) this season, two behind Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the NHL lead.

“I never thought in my life I'd score 50, honestly. I never really thought I would,” MacKinnon said. “It feels good, obviously. A lot of amazing plays from everybody all season, a lot of empty nets, a lot of hard work from the whole lineup. I think it's a team achievement, honestly. It's a team sport. Obviously, it’s tough to get there. You can't do it alone.”

MIN@COL: MacKinnon nets 3 beautiful goals for the hat trick

MacKinnon is the sixth player in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history to score at least 50 goals in a season.

“I'm not surprised he got 50, but we've grown accustomed to seeing some really special performances, right, at different times during the year from him and some other guys on our roster,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “But that was pretty much as dominant a performance as you could have in my books. And I've seen him be fast out of those holes before in the D-zone and explode through the neutral zone, but tonight it was like a whole new level.

“Some guys around him made plays, but a highly committed 200-foot game (from him), and then to be able to go and get, was it three and one, three and one on a night when we needed to win. I just thought it was just a stellar performance, like a special performance.”

Cale Makar had a goal and two assists, Artturi Lehkonen had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Drouin had three assists for the Avalanche (49-26-6), who had lost two straight. Alexandar Georgiev made 20 saves.

Colorado remained five points behind the Dallas Stars, who won 3-2 against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, for first in the Central Division.

MIN@COL: Makar snaps a shot into the net from beyond the circle

Matt Boldy had a goal and an assist, Kirill Kaprizov scored, and Filip Gustavsson made 27 saves for the Wild (37-32-9), who were eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention.

“It's not a very fun position to be in. We've strung together some good games. Obviously, tonight's tough,” Minnesota defenseman Zach Bogosian said. “They're a good team, and when you give, obviously, a player like MacKinnon [space], I mean he can take over a game. And he showed tonight why he's a world-class player.

“We'll compete right to the end. We're not going to sit here and make excuses or play the what if game. We have to get ready to play against Vegas (on Friday). It's the pride, it's the culture. That's the stuff you're playing for, right?”

Lehkonen gave Colorado a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 4:33 of the first period, one-timing MacKinnon’s centering pass from just below the left hash marks.

MacKinnon made it 2-0 at 8:38 when he skated through Bogosian and Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin before scoring short side on Gustavsson.

“We were laughing, actually, after his first goal. I thought we were playing in Halifax [again], to be honest,” Drouin said. “I've seen those breakout goals where he just blows by the [defensemen] and the [defense] does’t even stand a chance. He had his legs tonight, for sure, and he made it count.”

Kaprizov cut it to 2-1 with a power-play goal at 10:14, putting in his own rebound after Georgiev sticked aside his initial attempt on a wraparound.

“He's played great for us, obviously. That's the competitive edge that we're looking for, and he can drive a team,” Bogosian said. “There's certain players that can drive teams. Obviously, MacKinnon does that for them, and Kirill does that for us. He's been playing awesome.”

MIN@COL: Kaprizov nets a secod effort for a power-play goal

Boldy tied it 2-2 with a power-play goal at 19:40 when he tipped in a centering pass from Mats Zuccarello at the top of the crease.

Makar put the Avalanche back in front 3-2 at 6:15 of the second. He skated across the blue line to the left point before turning and scoring with a wrist shot that beat Gustavsson far side.

MacKinnon scored No. 50 to make it 4-2 at 14:50. He sped around Wild defenseman Brock Faber in the neutral zone and skated in alone before scoring with a wrist shot blocker side from the right dot.

MacKinnon then completed the hat trick to make it 5-2 at 19:08, again using his speed to split the defensemen in the neutral zone before deking Gustavsson and scoring past his glove.

“An elite player made some elite plays tonight,” Minnesota coach John Hynes said. “I think you look at the other components of the game, that was a huge difference. So, I'm not down on the team or whatnot. I don't like the fact that we lost the game, but we got to continue to compete hard and play and try to find ways to win. We were right in the game there and MacKinnon makes some game-breaking plays. That's what makes him such a dangerous player, and he was able to capitalize on them.”

NOTES: MacKinnon has 87 points (34 goals, 53 assists) in 39 home games, the most by an NHL player since 1995-96 (Mario Lemieux, 104 points in 40 home games). ... MacKinnon had his 43rd multipoint game of the season, passing Peter Stastny (42 in 1981-81) for the most in Avalanche/Nordiques history. … MacKinnon also tied Peter Forsberg (86) for the second-most assists in a season in franchise history (Stastny, 93 in 1981-82). … Makar has 87 points (20 goals, 87 assists), breaking his own Avalanche/Nordiques record for the most points by a defenseman in a season. He had 86 points in 2021-22. … Makar also became the first defenseman in franchise history to record multiple 20-goal seasons.

Recap: Wild at Avalanche 4.9.24

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