Mikko Rantanen has been adamant for several weeks that the 50-goal mark wasn’t top of mind. But his celebration and the smile that emanated from his face after reaching the milestone proved otherwise.

Rantanen capitalized on a rebound in the first period of Thursday’s 6-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center. It was fitting that his 50th was assisted by linemate Nathan MacKinnon.

And so were 51 and 52. Rantanen added two more tallies in the second, both also assisted by MacKinnon, and set up MacKinnon for a tally of his own. Both of Colorado’s superstar forwards finished with four points. For MacKinnon, it was a massive night after reaching the 100-point plateau on Tuesday.

But for Rantanen, it brings him to 98 points with five games remaining. Rantanen is looking to join MacKinnon in the NHL’s 100-point club this season.

Colorado also had two goals from depth forward Ben Meyers, helping the Avs (47-24-6) back into first in the Central Division. They are tied with the Dallas Stars in points (100) but have a game in hand. Both Colorado and Dallas are two points up on third-place Minnesota, but the Avs also have a game in hand on the Wild.

Several milestones and records were reached in the Avs’ third consecutive victory:

  • Rantanen records his third hat trick of the season, becoming the first Avalanche player to ever have three in a single season.
  • MacKinnon climbed into the top-5 in the NHL points race despite missing 11 games earlier in the season.
  • Meyers’ two-goal performance was the first of his career. He had just two goals in his first 39 career NHL games.
  • Defenseman Samuel Girard had two assists, reaching a career-high 35 points in 71 games — also a career best.
  • Just two nights after recording a franchise-high 19 road wins in a single season, goaltender Alexandar Georgiev added yet another victory to reach 20 wins away from home in 2022-23.
  • Defenseman Devon Toews, Girard and Rantanen each posted a career-best plus-5 rating.