Gabriel Landeskog’s fifth career hat trick helps Avalanche successfully erase another three-goal deficit

Feb 25, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Hats lie on the ice as Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) celebrates with the bench after his hat trick goal in the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Erasing early deficits at Ball Arena has been a strength of the Avalanche all season. And so too has captain Gabriel Landeskog scoring three goals against Winnipeg.

After surrendering the first three goals in the first period to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday, the Avs did it again.

Led by captain Gabriel Landeskog’s fifth career hat trick, and second against the Jets in 2022, Colorado exploded for six consecutive tallies to come from behind and defeat their division opponent 6-3. It’s the second successful three-goal comeback the Avs have had this season, both of which have come at home.

“We were just a little bit sluggish in the first and it wasn’t our game,” Landeskog said. “Guys stepped up and said listen, hey, we got to be better, but the most important thing is we got to get one and once you get one you got a two-goal hockey game and they’re going to tighten up naturally on the other side.”

Landeskog scored the first, third and sixth goals by the Avalanche, which began with a three-goal second-period outburst. It was his 26th, 27th and 28th of the season, which passes linemate Mikko Rantanen for the most on the team.

Landeskog has been on fire for the Avs, scoring 14 goals in his past 14 games. He’s also just six away from matching his career-high (34) and has 30 games to surpass that feat.

“You learn pretty early on that sometimes in this league they come in bunches and sometimes when they’re going in you want to keep doing what’s working for you. And for me, that’s going to the net,” Landeskog said.

Colorado also had two goals from Nathan MacKinnon, who returned after missing Wednesday’s matchup in Detroit, and the game-winner from Andre Burakovsky. MacKinnon was explosive and all over the ice, recording 14 of Colorado’s 42 shots for his second multi-goal game of the season.

MacKinnon was a precautionary scratch against the Red Wings for what the team said was a nagging lower-body injury.

“We’re not trying to play injured players in the position that we’re at.” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. “It’s maybe the best game I’ve seen MacK play all year, dangerous from start to finish”

Burakovsky’s 15th of the season was his first in 17 games. Bednar opted to play Burakovsky on the top line despite having a completely healthy top six and Burakovsky responded in a big way to put an end to his scoring slump.

“We’re going to try things the second part of the year because you never know what you’re going to run into for the playoffs,” Bednar said of bumping Landeskog down to the second line alongside Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin. “I don’t want to be adjusting for the first time in the playoffs.”

The Avs’ big guns had their handprints all over the victory. Along with Landeskog’s hat trick, MacKinnon’s two goals and Burakovsky’s two points, Colorado also had multi-point games from Mikko Rantanen (three assists) Cale Makar (two assists), Devon Toews (two assists), Kadri (two assists) and Nichushkin (two assists).

Pavel Francouz started for the second consecutive game. He surrendered three goals on 12 shots in the first period but shut down Winnipeg the rest of the way. Francouz finished with 26 saves.

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Aarif Deen
 is our Colorado Avalanche beat reporter. He covers Avs games live from Ball Arena and attends practices, media availabilities and other events pertaining to the Avs on the daily beat. He is also a co-host of Hockey Mountain High: Your go-to Avalanche Podcast. Deen joined Mile High Sports upon completion of his bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s in business administration from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Before Mile High Sports, Deen worked for the Michigan Wolverines Athletics Department as the assistant sports information director.

Follow him on Twitter @runwriteAarif

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