DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche have scored 13 goals over their last two games, with just about everyone chipping in, too.
Just like that, the defending Stanley Cup champions are feeling right back to their high-speed, high-scoring and highly confident ways.
Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon each scored twice as the Avalanche notched their ninth straight win over Detroit by beating the Red Wings 6-3 on Monday.
Their mini-rut — losing seven of eight — is in the rearview mirror at the moment. They’ve now won back-to-back games and both in regulation for the first time since November.
“Obviously, we weren’t playing great, but it seemed like everything that could go wrong was,” MacKinnon said. “We’ve turned it around the last couple of games.”
Artturi Lehkonen and J.T. Compher also scored for the Avalanche, who followed up a 7-0 win over Ottawa on Saturday with another scoring spree. There were eight different Colorado players with at least a point, including two assists from Evan Rodrigues and Devon Toews. MacKinnon also had two assists for a four-point day.
Trailing 5-0 late in the second period, Andrew Copp scored for Detroit to spoil Pavel Francouz’s bid for a second straight shutout. Ben Chiarot and David Perron added goals in the third.
“If you let those guys kind of go around the world, they’re going to find shooting lanes, they’re going to find passing lanes, it’s going to end up in the back of the net,” Copp explained.
Francouz followed up his 29-save shutout against the Senators with another solid performance by stopping 26 shots.
“It’s always nice,” Francouz said of being staked to a big lead. “There’s not such a high stress.”
Ville Husso allowed five goals on 22 shots for Detroit before being replaced by Magnus Hellberg for the third period.
“A couple of their guys had some really, really elite nights tonight,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “That was the difference. … You get a game like that out of MacKinnon — he completely took the game over.”
Lehkonen started the scoring early in the first period on a goal set up by Makar, who reached the 30-assist mark for the season.
Makar made it 2-0 with a power-play goal late in the first. Valeri Nichushkin had an assist as he returned to the ice after missing nine games. Nichushkin has struggled to get his foot to feel comfortable inside his skate due to scar tissue following ankle surgery.
“There’s only one Val in the league,” MacKinnon said. “Getting our best player in the finals back in our lineup is big for our team. The top-six now, I feel like we can dominate. It’s a really good top six and we’re still missing a couple of guys.”
Colorado’s string of 12 consecutive goals was snapped by Copp. It’s the third time in team history they’ve notched 12 or more straight goals. Colorado accomplished the feat from Oct. 19-22, 1983, (16) and March 18-22, 2021, (12), according to NHL Stats.
Makar’s three-point day marked his 57th career multipoint game. He’s tied with Tyson Barrie for second on the franchise’s all-time list among defensemen (Sandis Ozolinsh leads with 63).
AROUND THE RINK
Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson played in his 899th career NHL game. … Forward Darren Helm reaggravated a lower-body injured that’s limited him to five games this season. There’s a concern his season could be in jeopardy. “We have to get more information still,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. … Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider was originally credited with Detroit’s third goal. It was later changed and he picked up an assist instead.
Red Wings: At Arizona on Tuesday.
Avalanche: Start a three-game trip Wednesday in Calgary.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports