Nathan MacKinnon had two goals, Mikko Rantanen had a goal and three assists, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Dallas Stars 5-2 in Denver on Saturday night.
Logan O’Connor and Valeri Nichushkin also scored, and Alexandar Georgiev turned away 26 shots for Colorado (45-24-6, 96 points).
Joe Pavelski and Tyler Seguin scored, Jason Robertson assisted on both and Jake Oettinger had 27 saves for the Stars (41-21-14, 96 points).
The teams are for second in the Central Division, but the Avalanche have played one fewer game than Dallas.
Colorado got on the board midway through the first period when Rantanen passed to MacKinnon in the front, and he beat Oettinger with a wrister at 8:54.
The Avalanche struck again when Andrew Cogliano had the puck along the boards in the neutral zone and passed it to O’Connor as he came into the Dallas zone. O’Connor deked Miro Heiskanen and beat Oettinger with a quick shot at 6:04 for his ninth of the season.
The Stars got one back on the power play when Robertson sent a pass to the front of the net that deflected off the leg of Dallas’ Evgenii Dadonov, trickled to the far side of the crease, and Seguin tapped it in to make it 2-1 at 11:54.
It was his 19th goal of the season.
Colorado answered after Dallas was called for too many men penalty. J.T. Compher won the faceoff back to Rantanen, who passed the puck to MacKinnon in the slot. His shot went off a Stars player and in at 19:47 of the second.
It was MacKinnon’s 34th of the season.
Dallas appeared to cut the deficit to 3-2 midway through the third period when Wyatt Johnston scored. The Avalanche successfully challenged for goaltender interference, and they retained their two-goal lead.
Oettinger came off for an extra skater with 4:12 remaining, and Nichushkin scored into the empty net at 16:52, his 17th of the season.
Pavelski’s 24th goal at 18:44 got it to 4-2, and after Oettinger again came off the ice, Rantanen notched his 49th goal at 19:48.
–Field Level Media
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