The Morning After: Three stars, five takeaways from the Avalanche’s overtime victory over Toronto

Melinda Robinson
By Melinda Robinson December 30, 2017 20:07

The Morning After: Three stars, five takeaways from the Avalanche’s overtime victory over Toronto

The Morning After: Three stars, five takeaways from the Avalanche’s overtime victory over Toronto

Excellent back-and-forth affair Friday night at the Pepsi Center, where the Avalanche emerged a 4-3 winner in overtime over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

THREE STARS

  1. Nathan MacKinnon. Burgeoning NHL superstar had three points (goal), drew the penalty that led to the game-winning power-play goal for the Avs.
  2. Alex Kerfoot. Rookie forward had Colorado’s third goal and applied the screen that led to the fourth.
  3. Nikita Zadorov. Had two assists in 23:25 for the Avs.

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

Toronto’s second-year phenom Auston Matthews had five shots but was pointless in 19:52.

NEXT UP

New York Islanders, Sunday at the Pepsi Center, 6 p.m.

FIVE TAKEAWAYS

Record PK. The Avs were 2-for-2 on the penalty kill — the 10th consecutive game it has not allowed a power-play goal. That’s the longest streak in club history, and Colorado’s streak of 30 consecutive kills (during last 11 games) is the longest since the 1998-99 team killed 35 straight. The Avs haven’t allowed a PPG at home since Dec. 1 against New Jersey.

Interference or legal check? The Leafs’ Connor Brown was whistled for interference at 1:33 of OT after colliding with MacKinnon, who had just forced a turnover and appeared to have a lane for a breakaway. The Avs ended the game on the ensuing power play. Brown and Toronto coach Mike Babcock, among others, didn’t agree with the call. Said MacKinnon: “I think we were both holding each other, honestly. I was going to be on a breakaway so he kind of had to be in front of me. There’s calls that goes both ways all night. I guess we’ll take it.”

Great Nate. MacKinnon now has five three-point games this season — each coming at home — and has racked up 31 points (12 goals) 12g, 19a) in 19 games at the PC.

Fine Finn. Mikko Rantanen scored the Avs’ second goal to extend his career-best point streak to eight games, the longest for an Avalanche player since Ryan O’Reilly had points in eight consecutive games from March 14-30, 2015. Rantanen has the fourth-longest active streak in the NHL behind Islanders teammates Josh Bailey (10 games) and John Tavares (nine games) and Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov (nine games).

Naming rights. We really should put a name to the MacKinnon line — one of the NHL’s best this season. Sports cars are good, and a Twitter follower suggested the “McLaren Line” — Mc (MacKinnon)-La (Landeskog) Ren (R-antan-en). You like?

Published at Sat, 30 Dec 2017 13:00:52 +0000

Melinda Robinson
By Melinda Robinson December 30, 2017 20:07