Nichushkin scores in OT and Colorado erases a 3-goal deficit to beat Vancouver 4-3

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Valeri Nichushkin scored 30 seconds into overtime and the Colorado Avalanche erased a three-goal deficit to win 4-3 against the Vancouver Canucks.

Mikko Randanan and Nathan MacKinnon each had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who have won five straight. Ross Colton also scored and Alexander Georgiev made 18 saves.

„Best win of the year for sure. We're very happy with our game,” said McKinnon, who leads the NHL with 115 points. „Tough start but it was a different start, a couple breaks. But we didn't give up.

Nikita Satorov and J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist each, snapping a four-game hitting streak. Ilya Mikheyev added a goal and Casey DeSmith made 30 of 34 shots in Vancouver filling in for the injured Thatcher Demko.

The Avalanche started overtime a man down after Vancouver's Carson Soucy put a puck over the glass with 8.7 seconds left in the third. MacKinnon's blast hit Nichushkin on sight and pounced for the win.

„I think we'll take our foot off the gas,” Satorov said. „Teams like that, the players, their talent — you know, Edmonton, Toronto, Colorado — when you get a 3-0 lead, you have to learn how to play with that lead and not feed the animals. Step on their throats and then Close it.”

Vancouver took a 3-0 lead into the second period, but Colorado tied the game 3-3 in the third period. DeSmith stopped Miles Wood on a wraparound, but the puck bounced to Colton, who fired a shot over the goalie's body as he lay in the net. Video review confirmed that the target was completely off target.

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Colorado was given a five-on-three opportunity in the third after Vancouver's Ian Cole connected with teammate Elias Pietersen in the penalty box.

McKinnon took advantage quickly, collecting a pass from Cale Makar and scoring DeSmith to cut the deficit to 3-2 at the 3:19 mark.

The goal extended McKinnon's points streak to 14 games — the longest active streak in the league.

The Avalanche got three seconds left on the scoreboard when Rentanen tipped in a shot. He has points in 11 games.

That goal was „head-scratching” but it sparked Colorado, Canucks head coach Rick Tochette said.

„McKinnon and them started flying and we couldn't get anybody to grab a puck, whether it was on the forecheck or the breakout, to slow things down,” he said. „We were a little bit of a hot potato and we were soft on the puck, mostly on third down. Hate to say it but it was a learning lesson.

The Canucks jumped out to a two-goal lead on their first two shots. Miller opened the scoring 24 seconds into the game, tipping in a shot from the slot for his 33rd goal of the season.

Two minutes and 20 seconds later, the center sent a pass to Mikheev, who drove hard to the net and the Russian winger deflected it.


Avalanche: At Edmonton Saturday in the third game of a four-game road trip.

Canucks: Host Washington on Saturday.



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