DENVER — Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist as part of Colorado’s three-goal flurry in the third period, and the Avalanche beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Wednesday night.
Nazem Kadri, Logan O’Connor and Matt Nieto also scored for the Avalanche, who unleashed a season-high 50 shots on goal. The Oilers had 30 fewer shots, getting their lone goal from Jujhar Khaira.
The game was tied at 1 and Edmonton goalie Mikko Koskinen had frustrated Colorado’s offence, turning away one shot after another, before the Avalanche finally broke through in the final period during a 2:32 span.
At 3:05 of the third, Nieto scored off a cross-ice pass from MacKinnon to give the Avalanche their first lead. Just more than a minute later, Ian Cole wristed a shot that went in and out of Koskinen’s glove, and MacKinnon swept into the crease to knock in the rebound.
O’Connor capped the surge at 5:37 with a backhand that beat Koskinen for his first NHL goal. Valeri Nichushkin set up O’Connor by digging out a loose puck from behind the net and passing it to him in front.
The Avalanche couldn’t score during a five-minute power play, including two minutes when they had a 5-on-3 advantage due to a tripping penalty on Leon Draisaitl before tying it 1-all on Kadri’s goal at 10:50 of the second. Edmonton’s Adam Larsson drew a five-minute major for elbowing T.J. Tynan in the head to set up the power play.
Kadri mounted a rush down centre ice and wristed a shot from the middle of the right circle that the zoomed into the net under Koskinen’s glove.
Khaira opened the scoring in the first period.
NOTES: Mikko Rantanen is nearing a return from a lower-body injury that’s sidelined him since late October. He is practicing without restrictions and could rejoin the Avalanche for their home game Saturday against Chicago. … D Samuel Girard has appeared in 174 consecutive regular-season games, the longest active streak by an Avalanche player. … Sam Gagner leads the Oilers with 41 career points (15 goals, 26 assists) in 48 career games against the Avalanche. … Edmonton managed only two shots in the final period.
Oilers: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.
Avalanche: Visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday in the first of a home-and-home, back-to-back set.
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Dennis Georgatos, The Associated Press