Avs erupt for six straight goals, hammer Preds

Joonas Donskoi had three goals for his first career hat trick, Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and three assists, and the Colorado Avalanche used a six-goal second period to beat the Nashville Predators 9-4 in Denver on Thursday night.

The six goals came in a span of eight minutes as Colorado went from down 3-2 five minutes into the second period to up 8-3 with 6:34 left in the frame. The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Avalanche, in which they had scored just seven goals total.

Ryan Graves, Cale Makar and Andre Burakovsky had a goal and two assists each, Matt Nieto and Matt Calvert also had goals, and Erik Johnson added two assists to help Colorado end an eight-game home losing streak to Nashville.

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MacKinnon and defenseman Nikita Zadorov both sat out the third period with upper-body injuries. Coach Jared Bednar said afterward that MacKinnon was held out for precautionary reasons, but he was not as optimistic about Zadorov, who took a puck to the face and went straight to the locker room during the second period.

Pavel Francouz stopped 20 shots in place of Philipp Grubauer, who is out for at least two games with a lower-body injury.

Matt Duchene, Filip Forsberg, Craig Smith and Ryan Ellis had goals, Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson had two assists each, and Pekka Rinne had 17 saves before being pulled after giving up five goals.

Juuse Saros stopped 19 of 23 shots in relief of Rinne.

Nashville took a 3-2 lead when Forsberg and Duchene scored 3:30 apart early in the second period, but it was all Colorado after that.

Donskoi at 5:26, scored 31 seconds after Duchene, and just 20 seconds later Graves scored from the point to give the Avalanche the lead.

The onslaught continued when Burakovsky got his fifth at 6:57, chasing Rinne. Saros came on and Nieto scored a short-handed goal 50 seconds later. Calvert made it 7-3 with his fourth at 10:01 and Donskoi capped the rally with his second goal of the game at 13:26.

It was his seventh of the season.

Makar's goal just 49 seconds into the night gave Colorado the early lead but Ellis tied it at 12:08 of the first with his third.

Nashville took two minor penalties 14 seconds apart late in the first and MacKinnon scored on the 5-on-3 to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead going into the second.

It was MacKinnon's ninth of the season.

Smith scored at 12:41 of the third period, his second of the season, but Donskoi answered with the hat trick-clinching goal at 17:53.

--Field Level Media

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