DENVER (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon, Erik Johnson and Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist each, Jonathan Bernier made 27 saves and the streaking Colorado Avalanche beat the New York Rangers 3-1 on Saturday for their ninth straight win.
The Avalanche have won eight straight at home and haven’t lost since Arizona beat them on Dec. 27. Colorado has outscored opponents 37-15 in the last nine games and has not trailed during the winning streak.
Colorado has won nine in a row for the first time since Oct. 10-28, 2000, the last season it won the Stanley Cup.
Pavel Buchnevich scored and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 shots for New York.
Colorado took a 2-0 lead with goals by Johnson in the first period and MacKinnon early in the second. MacKinnon used Rangers defenseman Steven Kampfer as a screen to beat Lundqvist.
MacKinnon has goals in five straight games and has recorded at least one point in each game of Colorado’s streak. He is second in the NHL in scoring with 59 points (23 goals, 36 assists).
The Rangers cut the deficit in half when Buchnevich tipped in a pass from Zuccarello at 6:55 of the second. It was just the third power-play goal the Avalanche have allowed in the last 18 games.
New York had several chances to tie it in the third period. Nick Holden and Jimmy Vesey whiffed on a loose puck in the crease early in the frame, and Vesey had a shot ring off the crossbar in the last four minutes.
Rick Nash nearly got the equalizer with 11.9 seconds left with a high shot to the short side, but Bernier made the save. Rantanen scored into the empty net with less than a second left.
NOTES: New York RW Michael Grabner was a late scratch because of the flu. C Daniel Catenacci, recalled Friday, was in the lineup for his first NHL game in two seasons. … Avalanche C Tyson Jost was back in the lineup after missing one game with a leg injury. C Colin Wilson was a scratch. … Rangers C Kevin Hayes (leg contusion) and D Marc Staal (hip flexor) skated before the game and hope to play Sunday night in Los Angeles.
Rangers: Visit the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night.
Avalanche: Begin a six-game trip at Toronto on Monday night.
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