Avalanche cruise to victory in Ottawa

Feb 6, 2020; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichuskin (13) celebrates with right wing Mikko Rantanen (95) and center Nazem Kadri (91) his goal scored against the Ottawa Senators in the first period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a commanding victory in Buffalo, the Avalanche continued its torrid pace, defeating the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Thursday at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Colorado (30-16-6) scored early and had the first 13 shots on target before the Senators got on the board. The Avalanche then scored three straight to put the game away.

It was all Colorado in the early going. The Avalanche took control, forcing Ottawa goalie Marcus Hogberg to make numerous great saves. The Avs eventually slipped one past the netminder as forward Valeri Nichushkin continued his hot streak, scoring on a set up from Andre Burakovsky, who continues to rack up points as well. The pair had a combined seven points against Buffalo on Tuesday.

The Avs held a 13-0 shot advantage until the final minutes of the first period. After a couple of solid opportunities on the power play, the Senators capitalized on a giveaway from the Avs, springing forward Brady Tkachuk in on the breakaway to tie the game in the final minute.

But the Avalanche would control the rest of the way.

In the second, Matt Nieto completed a nice play from his linemates to give Colorado a 2-1 lead. The Avalanche added to their lead on the power play after Cale Makar buried a one-timer from the blueline. J.T. Compher added a tally in the third period to make it 4-1.

Takeaways

Makar reaches 40 points. Trailing behind Vancouver defenseman Quinn Hughes, Makar needed two points to reach 40 on the season. His power-play goal and assist on Compher’s goal gave him 40 points just moments before Hughes added a tally of his own to reach 40. Makar is the first rookie this season to accomplish the feat, doing so in 10 fewer games than Hughes.

Grubauer with another quiet victory. Avs goalie Philipp Grubauer, who has started each of the three games on this road trip, has strung together two consecutive victories. After surrendering five goals against Philadelphia on Saturday, Grubauer has made a combined 48 saves on 50 shots over the past two games.

Colorado’s road trip ends in a back-to-back. And the matchups will get more challenging in the process. The Avalanche return to action on Saturday against the red hot Columbus Blue Jackets before traveling to Minnesota on Sunday to close out their five-game road trip. The Blue Jackets are seventh in the NHL, one spot ahead of Colorado, after a slow start to their season.

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