DENVER — Nathan MacKinnon scored two goals and Brandon Saad added another to lead the surging Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.
Jonas Johansson had 25 saves for his first win for Colorado in his second start since coming over from Buffalo in a trade on March 20. Gabriel Landeskog assisted on both of MacKinnon’s goals for the Avalanche, who have gone 11-0-2 in their last 13 games to take over first place in the West Division.
The Blues got goals from Mike Hoffman and David Perron and 36 saves from Jordan Binnington, but lost their fifth straight game (0-4-1).
Saad and Hoffman traded goals 26 seconds apart in the first before MacKinnon put Colorado ahead. He had a power-play goal at 14:43 of the first and got his 11th of the season with a burst of speed down the right side that he finished with a shot between Binnington’s legs at 13:11 of the second.
Perron pulled St. Louis to 3-2 with a power-play goal at 17:16 of the second.
The Blues got another power play late in the third period but couldn’t cash in.
FINED AND DANDY
MacKinnon flashed some different skills in Wednesday night’s win over Arizona. In the third period he got into a scuffle with Conor Garland and Garland’s helmet came off. MacKinnon tossed it underhand at Garland and the two kept scrapping.
Nothing was damaged except MacKinnon’s wallet. The NHL fined him $5,000 for his actions.
Colorado forward Valeri Nichushkin was a late scratch due to an upper-body injury. Nichushkin was active on the lineup sheet before the game but was pulled before the puck dropped.
St. Louis centre Ivan Barbashev returned to action after missing 18 games with a left ankle injury.
Blues centre Robbie Thomas left the game in the first period when a teammate’s dump-in attempt hit him on the right side of his head. He returned later in the game.
The same two teams play in Denver again Saturday night.
Michael Kelly, The Associated Press