Thu, 08 Jun 2023

Star players come up big as Avalanche beat Coyotes

Field Level Media
25 Mar 2023, 13:55 GMT+10

Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar had a goal and two assists each, J.T. Compher also had a goal, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-1 in Denver on Friday night.

Alexandar Georgiev turned away 17 shots and Valeri Nichushkin had two assists for Colorado. The Avalanche (42-23-6, 90 points) moved within two points of Central Division-leader Dallas with a game in hand on the Stars.

Clayton Keller scored and Karel Vejmelka had 28 saves for Arizona (27-34-12, 66 points).

Colorado got stronger on the back end with the return of defensemen Makar and Erik Johnson. Makar had missed the previous two games with a lower-body injury and Johnson was out for 19 games with a broken ankle suffered at Florida on Feb. 11.

Makar made an immediate impact on the power play when he fed MacKinnon at 12:52 of the first period. It was MacKinnon's 31st of the season and extended his point streak to 11 games. He has recorded at least one point in 19 straight home games.

The Coyotes answered late in the first period when Nick Schmaltz chased down the puck along the boards, fed Keller in the slot, and he lifted a backhander by Georgiev at 18:57. It was Keller's 35th of the season and eighth in the last seven games. He also extended his point streak to 11 games.

Vejmelka made a sprawling save on a wraparound attempt by Makar late in the second and then had to make two saves on short-handed chances by the Avalanche.

Colorado continued to press and finally got the go-ahead goal in the third period. MacKinnon passed it to Makar at the top of the slot and he sent a shot through traffic to make it 2-1 at 6:41. It was his 17th of the season.

The Avalanche added an insurance goal a few minutes later when Vejmelka made a save on Makar's shot but Compher put in the rebound at 11:17. It was his 16th goal of the season.

--Field Level Media

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