Cale Makar powers Avalanche to blowout win

·3 min read

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The Colorado Avalanche still have another gear to reach, but the team has seemingly turned the corner following a rocky and injury-filled start to the 2021-22 campaign.

Nathan MacKinnon, J.T. Compher and Bowen Byram are key players who remained sidelined due to injuries. Still, Colorado’s offense has been firing on all cylinders during the team’s four-game win streak.

The Avalanche have scored 24 times in wins over Vancouver (twice), San Jose and Seattle. Those teams have had their share of struggles recently, so Colorado will have to continue to display good habits once the competition gets tougher.

The Vancouver Canucks will be hoping that Friday’s win helps to spark them in a similar way, as the team was mired in a five-game winless drought before defeating the Winnipeg Jets.

In other news off the ice, the Ottawa Senators got clearance from the NHL to return to practice on Saturday and play on Monday after getting their season paused due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The team had 10 players unavailable due to COVID-19 protocol, but eight are expected to be cleared for Saturday’s skate. Drake Batherson and Nikita Zaitsev are slated to be back by the middle of the week.

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The Canucks halted a five-game winless skid with a victory over the Jets.

Conor Garland’s second-period power-play goal held up as the game winner. He gave the Vancouver a 3-1 lead at the 6:54 mark.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson also potted a goal on the man advantage in the contest, which opened the scoring. It was the first time he found the back of the net since the season opener back on Oct. 13.

Kyle Burroughs had the other goal for the Canucks for his first of the year.

Nikolaj Ehlers and Pierre-Luc Dubois potted goals for Winnipeg.

Ehlers has two goals and two assists during a four-game point streak.

Dubois is up to 10 goals through 17 contests.

Thatcher Demko stopped 37 shots to end his personal three-game losing skid and give him six wins on the year.

Eric Comrie permitted three goals on 29 shots for his second straight loss after winning his first three outings.

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The Avalanche won for a fourth straight match and extended the losing skid of the Kraken to six games.

Cale Makar was the offensive star of the night with two goals and one assist. He also posted six shots on target.

Andre Burakovsky tallied a pair of power-play goals in the match.

Valeri Nichushkin, Erik Johnson and Nicolas Aube-Kubel also lit the lamp for Colorado. Nichushkin posted a shorthanded marker in the first frame, while Aube-Kubel got his first goal and point as a member of the Avalanche after he was claimed off waivers from Philadelphia.

Tyson Jost and Nazem Kadri contributed two assists each.

Kadri is riding an eight-game point streak over which he has four goals and 11 helpers.

Jordan Eberle and Brandon Tanev netted power-play goals for Seattle in the third period.

Colin Blackwell rounded out the scoring with his first point of the season in his third appearance.

Alex Newhook, Darren Helm, Kiefer Sherwood, Mikko Rantanen, Ryan Murray, Joonas Donskoi, Marcus Johansson, Adam Larsson, Carson Soucy and Vince Dunn picked up one assist apiece.

Darcy Kuemper blocked 25 shots for his fourth straight win. He has eight victories in 12 starts.

Chris Driedger was pulled after he surrendered four goals on 13 shots. Philipp Grubauer stopped 14 of 17 shots in relief against his former team.