MacKinnon’s 2 goals lead Avalanche past Panthers, 2-1

DENVER (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon wasn’t happy with his game against Washington on Tuesday, so the young center made up for it when the Florida Panthers came to town. MacKinnon scored twice, Semyon Varlamov made 32 saves and the Colorado Avalanche beat Florida 2-1 on Thursday night for their second victory over the Panthers in five days. Colorado won 7-3 in Florida on Saturday night and swept the season series behind a strong game from MacKinnon. He had his third two-goal game and leads the Avalanche with 35 points. MacKinnon played 21 minutes in the 5-2 loss to the Capitals and registered a minus-3 to cap a four-game road trip. He bounced back with a big performance to begin a three-game homestand. “That line, Nate in particular, was unhappy with the last game,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “It was sort of a tough day in Wash and that was a hungry and determined line tonight. Mac especially, he doubled up almost the whole game and made the most of his ice time for sure.” MacKinnon gave Colorado a 2-1 lead when he worked his way around defenseman Aaron Ekblad, skated in on goalie James Reimer and put in a shot to the short side at 6:44 of the third period. It was MacKinnon’s team-leading 13th goal of the season. The goal came exactly two minutes after Reimer robbed MacKinnon on the doorstep. Reimer finished with 28 saves. “I knew I was going short side. I didn’t mean to put… [Read full story]

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