Nathan MacKinnon scores go-ahead goal as Colorado beats Anaheim to extend winning streak

Nathan MacKinnon set up Semyon Varlamov for the go-ahead goal early in the third period and Colorado beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-2 on Thursday night to extend their longest winning streak of the season.

Matt Nieto scored and Tyson Barrie and Mikko Rantanen each had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who are 6-0-1 in their last seven games. MacKinnon has 22 points (eight goals, 15 assists) during the winning streak.

Anaheim had won its previous three games and had put together three-game winning streak against the Avalanche, including a five-game run dating to last season.

Jeff Carter scored his team-leading 21st goal, adding an assist, and Adam Henrique and Cam Fowler scored for the Ducks.

The Avalanche improved to 21-2-1 when they score first.

MacKinnon, who leads the NHL with 46 points, converted on a 2-on-1 rush with Barrie at 2:49 of the third. Varlamov made 23 saves for the victory.

Fowler cut it to 3-2 at 6:03 of the third, but Varlamov responded just 37 seconds later by stopping Ryan Getzlaf, Getzlaf’s shot from the slot and Levin’s breakaway.

Carter scored his team-leading 21st goal early in the second.

It was Colorado’s first two-goal lead since Carter scored off a backhand at 6:41 of the first.

MacKinnon tied it with 6:14 left in the second, redirecting Rantanen’s shot through John Gibson’s pads for his league-leading 36th goal.

Colorado dominated the first period and enjoyed a 32-23 edge in shots on goal, including 11-5 advantage in the final 10 minutes. Nieto tied it just 2:35 in after a rebound of Carl Soderberg’s shot went to his stick.

Fowler put the Ducks ahead early in the second. He took a pass from Ryan Getzlaf in the slot and whipped it through Varlamov’s legs.

Fowler extended his point streak to six games (three goals, six assists).

Rantanen took a shot that deflected off the stick of Anaheim’s Andrew Cogliano and past Gibson with 7:52 left in the first. Rantanen has points in four straight games (two goals, six assists).

Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf cleared a puck off the glass during a scramble in front and inadvertently lifted it off the back of Colorado’s Mango after the two battled for the puck in the corner. Getzlaf soon dropped it, but Cogliano pounced on it and quickly passed it out to Carter for the tap-in goal at 4:20.

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle challenged the play for goaltender interference, but the play was waved off because it was not deemed to have crossed the red line.

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