The center scored two of his three goals on Colorado's potent power
play to snap a 14-game goalless drought, and his second career hat
trick propelled the Avalanche to a 6-3 win over the hapless-at-home
San Jose Sharks on Monday.
San Jose dropped a fourth straight game at SAP Center, where it is
an unaccustomed league-worst 4-10.
As for MacKinnon, it was a night that felt long overdue.
"They come in bunches sometimes, and obviously it's nice to get on
the board and get the win," MacKinnon said.
Colorado won this one thanks to its special teams play. The
Avalanche were a season-best 4-for-6 on the power play (11 shots
during 7:53 of five-on-four play) while holding San Jose without a
goal on its three power plays.
"Special units were really good," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said.
"That's what you like to see on the road."
MacKinnon's second goal of the game came just 20 seconds into a
hooking penalty by Sharks right winger Tommy Wingels and gave
Colorado its second two-goal lead of the third period. San Jose took
five stick-related minors in the game, including four in the opening
period when Colorado struck twice on the power play.
"I think our penalty kill lacked an attention to detail," Wingels
said. "Certainly a couple days off will do that, but that's not an
excuse because we know better. (Our) penalty kill is a better unit
than that. They have a good power play that's going to take
advantage of mental mistakes we made."
The Sharks tried to mount a comeback by registering the first nine
shots of the third period. However, instead of gaining the
equalizer, San Jose defenseman Brent Burns took a holding penalty.
The Avalanche converted when left winger Blake Comeau scored his
sixth of the season at 7:09 with just two seconds left in the
Sharks center Tomas Hertl scored his fourth goal of the season 58
seconds later to briefly draw the hosts to within one goal again
before MacKinnon struck to make it 5-3 at 8:44. He capped his
three-goal game with an empty-net goal at 18:32.
"I don't have a reason -- hooking, holding -- we took six
(penalties)," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "You're playing with
fire any time you take that many penalties. They had four power-play
goals; that was the difference in the game."
Colorado scored at even strength just past the midway point of the
middle period to take a two-goal lead, but the Sharks responded
several minutes later to stay within a goal again at the second
Avalanche center Matt Duchene beat Sharks defenseman Paul Martin to
the side of the net and scored on a spin-a-rama shot that caromed
off a skate in front of San Jose goalie Martin Jones. Duchene's
team-leading 17th goal came at 11:19 after the Sharks repeatedly
failed to clear the puck up the right wall.
San Jose, which failed to convert on either of two early-period
power plays, cashed in five-on-five when left winger Melker Karlsson
scored his fourth of the season with a blast from the high slot that
beat screened Colorado goalie Calvin Pickard at 13:58.
[to top of second column]
The Sharks were guilty of four stick fouls in the opening period,
and the Avalanche made the hosts pay for it by converting twice on
the power play to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
MacKinnon converted 48 seconds into a hooking minor by San Jose
center Joe Thornton. MacKinnon was left alone at the edge of the
right circle where center Carl Soderberg hit him with a perfect pass
from the left circle at 8:46.
The goal snapped a streak of 21 straight kills over eight games by
Sharks' penalty killers, who were 14-for-14 over six games. Colorado
scored first for the 10th consecutive game, this after the Sharks
registered the first five shots of the game.
San Jose center Patrick Marleau tied the game at 10:07 with his 14th
goal of the season -- and No. 470 of his career -- with a shot from
the slot that deflected off the glove of Pickard. Right winger Joel
Ward intercepted a weak pass by Avalanche right winger Jack Skille
to start the sequence.
Colorado jumped ahead 2-1 by converting on its fourth power play
opportunity of the period. Soderberg redirected a drive by
defenseman Francois Beachemin from the point past Jones at 14:28.
"You draw penalties when you're buzzing in the O zone," MacKinnon
said. "We got some breaks. I think some calls maybe could have gone
either way, I'm not sure. Some nights they wouldn't have called
those. We're fortunate in that sense, but we were moving our feet
down low and creating stuff."
NOTES: Avalanche RW Jarome Iginla remained stuck on 599 career
goals, one short of becoming the 19th player to score 600. ... RW
Joel Ward returned to the Sharks' lineup after missing two games
with an upper-body injury. ... Colorado G Calvin Pickard made his
first start of the season after appearing twice in relief. Pickard
was recently recalled after backup G Reto Berra went down with an
ankle injury. Berra is on injured reserve. ... The Avalanche open a
season-long five-game homestand Thursday against the Chicago
Blackhawks. ... San Jose next plays the second contest of a
five-game homestand Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. ...
Sharks C Logan Couture has resumed skating with the team but his
return from surgery to repair a blood vessel in his thigh has not
been determined. ... RW Ben Smith and D Matt Tennyson were healthy
scratches for San Jose, while D Nate Guenin and RW Chris Wagner did
not dress for Colorado.
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