NHL

NHL: Avalanche roll to 8th straight victory

By Sports Desk March 22, 2024

Red-hot Mikko Rantanen scored two more goals and Nathan MacKinnon extended a pair of streaks as the Colorado Avalanche won their eighth consecutive game, 6-1 over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

Cale Makar had a goal and an assist and Ross Colton also scored for the Avalanche, who have won 10 of 11 to remain tied with Dallas for the top spot in the Central Division.

Rantanen had a hat trick in Tuesday’s win over St. Louis and has eight goals in his last five games.

MacKinnon had a goal and an assist to extend his home point streak to 33 games. He also has 11 goals and 23 assists during a 17-game overall point streak.

Elvis Merzlikins stopped a season-high 44 shots for the last-place Blue Jackets.

Milano has hat trick in Capitals’ shootout win

Sonny Milano notched his first career hat trick and Dylan Strome scored the lone shootout goal to lift the Washington Capitals to a wild 7-6 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Strome had three assists in regulation and Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson and Ivan Miroshnichenko also scored as the Capitals won their fourth in five games to get within one point of Detroit for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Sebastian Aho scored three goals and Jake Guentzel had three assists for Carolina, which had won four straight. The Hurricanes moved to 7-1-1 in their last nine games and are within one point of the Rangers for the lead in the Metropolitan Division.

Benn lifts Stars over Penguins

Jamie Benn scored two goals in a 77-second span in the second period and the Dallas Stars topped the sliding Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-2.

Joe Pavelski and Sam Steel also scored and Jake Oettinger stopped 20 shots for the Stars, who have won three in a row to tie Colorado for first place in the Central Division.

Michael Bunting and Rickard Rakell tallied for Pittsburgh, which fell to 0-6-1 in its last seven road games.

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    Vladimir Tarasenko and Sam Bennett also scored for the Panthers, who can wrap up the franchise’s first Stanley Cup title in Game 4 in Edmonton on Saturday night.

    Florida carried a 4-1 lead into the third period, but Philip Broberg scored at 6:02 and Ryan McLeod made it a one-goal game with 5:17 remaining.

    The Oilers, however, could not beat Sergei Bobrovsky again and now face the daunting task of trying to win four straight games to bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada for the first time since 1993 – months before the Panthers’ inaugural season.

    Only four teams in league playoff history (1975 New York Islanders, 2010 Philadelphia Flyers and 2014 Los Angeles Kings) have won a series after losing the first three games and only once in the final (1942 Toronto Maple Leafs).

    Bobrovsky finished with 32 saves to win his sixth straight start. He allowed more than two goals for the first time during that span.

    The Panthers showed no ill effects from waiting to fly from South Florida to Alberta, a decision that was questioned when their plane was delayed by storms and got in a few hours late Wednesday – less than 24 hours before puck drop.

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    Niko Mikkola also scored and Aaron Ekblad had a game-sealing empty-net goal in the final minutes as the Panthers moved two wins away from the franchise's first Stanley Cup title.

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