The win is their sixth straight on the bounce, while also still rolling on an eight-game point streak. While there were other bigger stories to mention, Jack Johnson played his first game in a return with the burgundy and blue in an uneventful fashion with 19:19 in ice time. Here’s how his teammates did.
The action started right from the get-go, as Mikko Rantanen scored. He had a ton of help 14 seconds in thought, as Adin Hill gave the puck up from behind the net to end up on “Steve’s Dang-It’s” on Thursday.
However, Vegas would be the one on the front foot. They peppered Alexandar Georgiev with 10 shots early. He was up to the task though.
The team in front of him started waking up though. It started with Valeri Nichushkin and Nathan MacKinnon connecting on a spin-o-rama but it was stopped by Hill. The Avs got better as the period went on and eventually seemed to be evened up heading into the room.
MacKinnon was in the action early again after he took a big hit from Brayden McNabb in the open ice which left him upset. He would create another spin move and a separate chance for Nichushkin who missed wide.
Meanwhile, Evan Rodrigues nearly ended his cold streak but was denied by Hill miraculously moving from left to right. He would be under the cot as the Avs had a rare 4-on-3 power play which created a ton of chances.
This included Devon Toews hitting the post from the point. Despite all the chances a man up, none of them went in the net. But, Hill would be beaten a second time by a familiar face.
He nearly completed his hat trick soon after when there were more penalties to Alex Newhook and Phil Kessel. But, he was stopped and his counterpart MacKinnon hit the side of the net. Both would look to finish more of their chances and finish off Vegas in the final 20 minutes.
Colorado kept doing what they were doing. Nichushkin couldn’t convert on a 2-on-1 though with Sam Girard. At the other end, Georgiev kept on working.
Bo Byram laid a big hit on William Carrier which threw him into Phil Kessel, leaving the latter bruised but okay. However, he helped kill off the Avs’ only penalty of the night on Denis Malgin for tripping.
Vegas tried their best to get back into things, starting to shoot more after only having one shot on goal in the first 12 minutes. But, despite pulling Hill with just under four minutes to go, MacKinnon hit the empty net to finish it off.
Take a bow Alexandar Georgiev. The netminder for the Avs who has been called into action so much because of the injury to Pavel Francouz has been incredible. He’s won 10 of his last 12 games and recorded his third shutout of the season. He’s now played 42 games, the most he’s ever played in a season. It’s safe to say he’s proven himself to be a solid starter with the Avs and not a backup with the New York Rangers.
Up front, Rantanen continued to do his thing. While he’d fallen off a bit in a recent stretch, two goals saw him reach the 40-goal mark for the first time in his career. Meanwhile, his teammate MacKinnon is now on an eight-game point streak with his empty net goal.
The win is Colorado’s sixth straight as they continue on their hot streak. With the Winnipeg Jets faltering and the Dallas Stars losing in overtime to the Vancouver Canucks, the Avs are second in the Central Division only two points behind the Stars. Does it show how strong the Avs are, or how close and rough the West is all together? Whatever way it is, they still have games in hand on everybody and it’s a great time right now to be an Avs fan.
Colorado will complete its three-game home stand Wednesday evening against the high-flying New Jersey Devils. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. MT.