Mikko Rantanen had three goals and an assist, Bo Byram, Tyson Jost and Valeri Nichushkin also scored, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Nashville Predators 6-2 in Denver on Saturday night.
Cale Makar had three assists to extend his point streak to six games, Gabriel Landeskog, Nazem Kadri and Devon Toews had two assists each, and Jonas Johansson stopped 26 shots for Colorado, which has won seven of its last eight.
Matt Duchene and Luke Kunin had goals, and David Rittich had 29 saves for the Predators.
The Avalanche dominated the first period and had a 14-4 advantage in shots on goal. Nashville didn’t record its first shot on Johansson until midway through the period. By then Colorado had taken the early lead on its first power play.
The Avalanche got the man advantage when Mattias Ekholm went off for holding at 3:57 of the first. Colorado held the puck in the offensive zone and cashed in when Landeskog sent the puck to the net, and Rantanen tipped it by Rittich at 4:41.
The Avalanche struck again later in the period with another power-play goal. Makar got the puck at the point and passed it to Rantanen in the right circle, and his one-timer beat Rittich on the short side at 17:37.
The Predators broke through in the second when Kunin redirected a shot by Eeli Tolvanen by Johansson to make it 2-1 at 4:44. It was his third goal of the season.
Colorado answered less than two minutes later. Landeskog had the puck at the bottom of the right circle, shot the puck to the front of the net where Byram tipped it over Rittich’s shoulder at 6:19. It was his fourth goal of the season.
Byram had missed six games with a head injury.
Nichushkin knocked in a centering pass from Rantanen at 6:42 of the third period, his fifth goal of the season.
Rantanen completed the hat trick at 15:12, his 10th goal of the season, Duchene got one back with his 13th goal at 16:28 at Jost finished the scoring at 18:55.
–Field Level Media