DENVER — Nathan MacKinnon’s 35-game home point streak was one of the more remarkable runs the NHL has seen in decades. And while he failed to record a point Thursday against the New York Rangers in a 3-2 shootout loss — effectively ending the streak — the Avs are still raving at just how dominant their top star has been.

“It’s incredible. It just speaks to the consistency and high level of play for that long,” head coach Jared Bednar said. “I mean look at who he was trying to track down, Gretzky at 40.”

Bednar and the Avs are expected to review a goal late in the third period, which tied the game up at 2-2 to secure a point in the standings. On that play, MacKinnon set up defenseman Devon Toews for a point shot, which ended up in the back of the net after Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren swiped at the loose puck.

Initially, the expectation was that MacKinnon would get an assist on the play. But after a careful second look, the goal was announced as unassisted for Toews because of an own goal by Lindgren. Colorado is expected to ask the league to review the play to ensure MacKinnon shouldn’t receive a point.


Upon asking Cale Makar about the streak ending after the game, he was surprised to hear MacKinnon was not credited with a helper on the goal. But he also spoke highly of his superstar teammate for his performance. MacKinnon played 27:53, and 3:10 of the OT period. Bednar later admitted that MacKinnon responsibly lets him know when to put him back on the ice in overtime.

“He’s our most dangerous guy,” Bednar said, explaining that MacKinnon often plays every other shift in OT and the streak wasn’t top of mind when deploying him.

MacKinnon had five shots on goal and was dangerous throughout the night. The game-tying goal doesn’t happen without him.

“It’s one game, it’s not like he took the night off,” Makar said of MacKinnon. “I feel like he was still finding ways to generate and stuff like that. Just sometimes those bounces don’t go your way.”

Casey Mittelstadt had the other Avs goal, which came late in the second period and opened the scoring of a tight-checking battle backed by two red-hot goalies.

Colorado’s starter Alexandar Georgiev hasn’t always been at his best this season. But when he has an opportunity to face his former team, he always makes sure to put in an exceptional effort.

Georgiev matched his counterpart and former teammate Igor Shesterkin save for save through 65 minutes before failing to stop two of three shots in the shootout. Colorado outshot New York 40-25, which included a 17-7 stretch in the third period. But Shesterkin was on top of his game and proved to be the difference.

The Avs are 28-7-1 at home and have lost two in a row (0-1-1) after winning nine straight games.

“It was a good hockey game. It was a tight-checking hockey game,” Bednar said. “Hard to create offense, I thought.”

The Avs almost exited the second period having failed to score for more than 99 minutes dating back to early in Tuesday’s showdown against the Montreal Canadiens. But late in the period, a hard-working play set up by Brandon Duhaime gave Colorado the first goal. Duhaime fended off towering defenseman K’Andre Miller and sent the puck to Mittelstadt, who ripped it past Shesterkin from the circle with just 33 seconds remaining in the middle frame. Mittelstadt’s 17th of the year was also his first at home as a member of the Avs.

Without Valeri Nichushkin, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, the elevated role for Duhaime again paid off, just as it did on the road when the Avs were missing a handful of forwards. Like Mittelstadt, Duhaime was brought in at the trade deadline and has fit in relatively quickly with his new team.

Duhaime isn’t a traditional top-six winger but has held his own when called upon. He has three assists in nine games since joining Colorado.

The Rangers came out in the second period and scored twice to gain a 2-1 lead. On their go-ahead tally, the Avalanche challenged the goal for a hand pass but were unsuccessful.

Forward Chris Kreider put home a rebound off a point that deflected off teammate Vincent Trochek and sat in the crease for him to swipe at. The puck appeared to deflect off Trochek’s glove before setting up Krieder for the open net. The NHL later said the puck deflected off the cuff rather than the glove. But Bednar said the team is expected to ask the league for further explanation.

“We’ll reach out to the league. There’s no argument after they make their ruling,” Bednar said. “I thought it was worth the challenge because it hits his glove, I’m almost positive it hits his glove. You can zoom in on one of the replays. We’ll see what they say on it. I don’t know exactly what they’re gonna say.”

The Rangers did not score on the ensuing power play for the unsuccessful challenge.

Explanation from the league: The Situation Room confirmed that the puck deflected off the cuff of Vincent Trocheck’s glove prior to Chris Kreider’s goal, therefore, it was deemed not to be a hand pass. The decision was made in accordance with Rule 79.