After their most dominant winning streak of the season ended on Tuesday, the Colorado Avalanche rebounded with their most dominant period of the season on Thursday.
Colorado scored four goals in the second period to set the tone for a 5-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. The win put Colorado into a tie with Vegas for first place in the West Division, but the Golden Knights do have a game in hand over Colorado.
Four different players scored for Colorado in the second, where they outshot Vegas 16-4 – holding the Golden Knights without a shot for a stretch of 13:27 in the frame. It was the first time all season Vegas lost after scoring the first goal.
Here’s three takeaways from Thursday’s win:
Sizzling Landeskog Passes Tanguay
Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist in Thursday’s win, giving him 489 points in his career. That moved him to eighth on the franchise’s all-time scoring list, lifting him past Alex Tanguay’s 488 points.
The way the Avalanche captain is going, he might be in line for some more milestones. Landeskog extended his point streak to seven games – his longest of the season. During that stretch, he has piled up four goals and nine assists. Along with the point streak, Landeskog has tallied at least one goal and one assist in four of the last five games.
His goal on Thursday is what pushed him past Tanguay, and it was a typical Landeskog goal. The captain cleaned up a rebound from the top of the crease, slamming home the fourth goal of the second period to blow the game open. It was his 11th of the season.
Landeskog’s linemate Nathan MacKinnon is the next player in front of Landeskog on the franchise’s all-time list, sitting in seventh with 530. Joe Sakic is the franchise’s all-time points leader with 1,641.
Donskoi Sneaks Up Scoring Ranks
He’s not the first name you think of when discussing the Avalanche’s potent offense, but Joonas Donskoi is turning into an important piece for Colorado.
Donskoi scored Colorado’s first goal on Thursday, netting his 11th of the season. That puts him second on the team in goals – behind Mikko Rantanen’s 19 – and Donskoi has predominantly played on the third line.
The 28-year-old forward is in his second season in Colorado, and he scored 33 points in 65 games last season. His 16 goals a year ago were a career-high, and he’s just five short of that number through less than half that many games in this campaign.
He’s also been on a tear over the last 10 days. Over the last seven games, Donskoi has five goals and four assists – including two goals in Colorado’s 5-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on March 22. That makes up the bulk of Donskoi’s 22 points on the season.
Donskoi is a streaky player, for sure, and has points in six of his last seven contests. That comes off of a seven-game slump where he managed just one point.
Compher Gets Comfy
It has been an up-and-down season for J.T. Compher. He’s bounced around various lines, and he has been bouncing back and forth with Logan O’Connor between being scratched and playing on the fourth line the last few games.
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar put both Compher and O’Connor on the fourth line on Thursday, and Compher responded with his best game of the season.
Compher scored a goal and added a great assist to help the Avalanche to the victory. It was his first multi-point game since last season – when he had a pair of assists in a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on March 8, 2020.
Compher’s goal also proved to be the game-winner, coming midway through Colorado’s four-goal second period. The goal was unassisted, as it just crept past Vegas netminder Marc-Andre Fleury. It gave Colorado the lead with 10:45 left in the period, but ignited the Avs.
He may have gotten a favorable bounce on his goal, but Compher left nothing to chance on his perfect assist on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare’s goal in the third period that put the game away.
Compher has points in his last two games, and Bellemare has scored goals in two of the last three games.
Colorado will try to take sole possession of first place when the Avalanche host Vegas again on Saturday.
Lifelong storyteller and experienced hockey reporter that has covered everything from major juniors to the NHL. Worked for various newspapers across Minnesota and North Dakota, and now covering the Colorado Avalanche for THW.