Mikko Rantanen had a goal and two assists, Darcy Kuemper made 21 saves and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Vancouver Canucks 7-1 on Thursday night in Denver.
Devon Toews and Logan O’Connor each produced a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who snapped a two-game skid. Valeri Nichushkin, J.T. Compher, Gabriel Landeskog and Darren Helm also had goals, and Cale Makar and Samuel Girard registered two assists apiece.
Colorado defenseman Bowen Byram left the game in the first period after getting an elbow to the head from Bo Horvat.
Nils Hoglander scored the Canucks’ lone goal. Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko stopped 20 shots before being replaced by Jaroslav Halak to start the third period. Halak had eight saves and yielded one goal in the final 20 minutes.
Vancouver fell to 2-5-1 in its past eight games.
The Avalanche jumped ahead early after Vancouver took a penalty just 2:03 into the game. Nichushkin, who was playing for the first time since the first game of the season, took a pass from Nazem Kadri as he came down the slot and beat Demko at 3:18 for his first goal of the season.
Nichushkin had been sidelined due to an upper-body injury.
Landeskog made it 2-0 at 7:34 when he knocked in a pass from Makar for his fifth goal of the season. Rantanen added another at 11:10 of the first when he stole the puck from Elias Pettersson in the Canucks’ end and beat Demko with a snap shot. It was his fourth of the season.
O’Connor scored his second of the season at 11:05 of the second, and then came down on a short-handed, odd-man rush with Helm later in the period. O’Connor fed Helm as they skated deep into the Vancouver zone, and Helm one-timed it for his second goal of the season at 16:32.
Toews made it 6-0 with just six seconds left in the middle period when he one-timed a pass from Girard for his first of the season.
The Canucks finally broke through against Kuemper when Hoglander scored 1:08 into the third period. It was his second of the season.
Compher restored the six-goal lead on a power play with his sixth of the season at 11:49.
–Field Level Media