With every game weighing increasingly more significant, the Colorado Avalanche managed to win three out four games – including impressive victories over the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning – in the week ending on Feb. 22. The Avs also beat the Arizona Coyotes and dropped a home game to the Los Angeles Kings. It was an important bounce back week for the Avs, who came into the week having lost four out of five contests. They now sit six points out of the final playoff position in the Western Conference with 20 games remaining in the season.

Colorado’s formerly dormant offense finally kicked into gear with 19 goals on the week. Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Tyson Barrie earned the Avs’ three stars of the week by leading the team with five points apiece:

First Star ★ Nathan MacKinnnon, Forward

Last year’s Calder Trophy winner has been fighting the dreaded sophomore slump all season, but he broke out in a big way by registering his first career hat trick against the Lightning to go along with two assists and eight blocked shots on the week. At 19 years of age, MacKinnon became the youngest player in Avalanche history to record a hat trick. He also broke a personal drought of 13 straight games without a goal. The former first overall draft selection scored his goals in three different fashions – his speed was on full display as he split the defense and ripped a backhand in on his first goal, then he set up in front of the net and redirected a shot in to the net, and finally fired a wicked wrister past Andrei Vasilevskiy to complete the hat trick. “The pucks were just finding me tonight,” MacKinnon said. “I was very fortunate to get a hat trick. Definitely a lot of fun, it was cool seeing the hats come on the ice. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a hat trick so it was good.” By registering assists in the Avs’ first two games of the week, MacKinnon extended a point streak that ended midweek in Chicago to four-straight games. He now has 12 goals and 36 points in 60 games this season.

Second Star ★ Gabriel Landeskog, Left Wing

The Avalanche captain was nothing short of terrific while leading his team to three victories and scoring three goals and two assists in the week. Landeskog also tied for the team lead with 13 shots on net and registered seven hits. The 22-year-old scored the game-winning goal on the power play in the Avs’ win in Chicago. His two power play points also helped jumpstart the Avs’ anemic power play – which ended a 0-for-32 scoreless drought with three goals during the week. “Puck seems to be finding the back of the net right now,” Landeskog said following the win over Tampa Bay. “All the hard works paying off.” His career-long, five-game goal scoring streak came to an end in the win over the Lightning. The Stockholm, Sweden native leads the Avalanche with 11 power play points on the season.

Third Star ★ Tyson Barrie, Defense

Barrie scored three goals and five points while playing over 22 minutes per contest and registering a plus-1 rating on the week. His 13 shots on goal and two power play points also tied for the team lead. The 23-year-old had at least one point in all three of Colorado’s win. He was the unequivocal difference-maker in the win over the Blackhawks – registering two goals and an assist on the game-winner. He has four points in the last two games. On the season, Barrie has nine goals and a team-leading 27 assists.

Nathan is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached on Twitter at @TheRealNatron.

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