An unlikely hero found himself at the forefront of the Avalanche’s 3-2 victory in Minnesota.

One of the last remaining enforcers in the NHL known for his willingness to drop the gloves, forward Kurtis MacDermid was inserted into the lineup in place of Tomas Tatar. In just his fifth game of the season, MacDermid stepped up in the third period to break a 2-2 deadlock and score the eventual game-winner, lifting Colorado to its fifth win in six games.

MacDermid found himself wide open in the slot before receiving a pass from linemate Andrew Cogliano. He confidently skated in on goalie Filip Gustavsson before sifting the puck from his forehand to the backhand for a tap-in into the back of the net.

It’s just his fourth goal since joining the Avalanche in 2021 and his second straight game-winner.

The Avs also had goals from Ross Colton and Valeri Nichushkin — two of their hottest goal-scorers on the team in recent weeks. Colton’s tally was his seventh of the season and sixth in 11 games in November. Only Mikko Rantanen (seven) and Nichushkin (eight) have more since the month began.

Nichushkin has goals in six straight games. He once again tallied a power-play goal where he redirected a teammate’s shot while planted in front of the opposing netminder. It’s one of the skills Colorado has missed from captain Gabriel Landeskog, and Nichushkin has found his way into that role this season.

The Avs have also scored a power-play goal in six consecutive games.

In goal, Alexandar Georgiev earned his league-leading 12th win of the season. He has started all but two games so far. Though the Avalanche will play again Saturday night — their first back-to-back of the season. Georgiev made 19 saves.