DENVER — Nazem Kadri and Nathan MacKinnon scored 1:54 apart as the Colorado Avalanche were propelled by another second-period spurt in a 6-3 win over the reeling Detroit Red Wings on Monday.
The Avalanche also pulled away from the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues with a middle-period flurry over the weekend.
Leading 2-1 early in the third, Kadri helped Colorado put the game out of reach when he and Matt Nieto added goals within 53 seconds of each other. Ryan Graves added another goal late in the third, with Kadri getting an assist, and MacKinnon added an empty-netter.
The win allowed the Avalanche to finish their homestand with a 3-0-2 mark. They won’t play again until Feb. 1 due to the All-Star break and a bye week.
Pavel Francouz stopped 22 shots for Colorado.
Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and Givani Smith scored for Detroit, which has dropped five in a row (0-4-1). Larkin also had two assists.
Jimmy Howard made 40 saves in falling to 2-18-2.
Cale Makar was among the 10 Avalanche players with at least a point as he added two assists. Makar has 37 points this season, which ties him with Bruce Bell for the Colorado/Quebec record for a rookie defenceman. Bell set his mark in 1984-85 with the Nordiques.
MacKinnon reached the 30-goal mark for a third straight season with his empty-netter.
It was a penalty-marred opening period, with both teams drawing double-minor, high-sticking calls. Colorado’s power play extended into the second period and Kadri scored the tying goal when he tipped in a shot from Makar.
Makar then assisted on MacKinnon’s goal by skating around before sending a pass down low to a wide open MacKinnon.
The lone first-period score was turned in by Bertuzzi, who knocked in his team-leading 17th of the season 2:28 into the game. He instantly drew boos from the crowd.
He was booed throughout the afternoon. It wasn’t Bertuzzi nearly as much as his last name.
On March 8, 2004, his uncle, Todd Bertuzzi, then playing for the Vancouver Canucks, hit former Colorado forward Steve Moore from behind. Moore crashed face first to the ice, leaving him with a concussion and fractured vertebrae. A settlement was eventually reached in Moore’s lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi.
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar can sympathize with Detroit coach Jeff Blashill, whose team is in the midst of a 12-34-4 (28 points) season. Bednar and his squad went a through an equally trying 22-56-4 (48 points) campaign in 2016-17.
“It’s horrible. It’s pure misery,” Bednar explained to reporters after practice Sunday. “You feel your effort is good and you’re trying to do your best and you just can’t get it done.”
Avalanche F Joonas Donskoi (concussion protocol) missed a fifth straight game. He went through practice Sunday and could be back after break. “The days feel long when you’re not playing,” Donskoi told the media. … The Avs improved to 4-0 in day games this season.
Red Wings: Play in Minnesota on Wednesday.
Avalanche: Off until Feb. 1 when they play in Philadelphia.
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Pat Graham, The Associated Press