DENVER — Rebounding from the bad loss in Chicago was the only option. The Avalanche didn’t make it easy, but they pulled through in the final 20 minutes on Thursday, erasing a two-goal deficit to defeat the Ottawa Senators 6-4 at Ball Arena.

And it was all thanks to superstar center Nathan MacKinnon and his exceptional four-goal game — the first to accomplish the feat in the team’s 28-year history.

“I thought I’ve had better games, just I got some goals tonight,” MacKinnon said, following his five-point effort — pulling within four points of Nikita Kucherov for the most in the NHL. “They just went in. I fanned on one, hit one off the shin pad, empty-netter. So sometimes it feels easy, sometimes it feels really hard. So tonight was easy.”

Had it not been for MacKinnon and a successful power play, which scored on four of five opportunities, it may have been another disappointing loss. The Avs hold themselves to a standard higher than most. The same team that wasn’t complacent following a 6-0-0 start to the season once again showed that despite coming away with two points, there is still a lot to work on.

And it starts with the teams depth. Outside of a 10-point performance for the top line and a combined three assists from the top defensive pair of Devon Toews and Cale Makar, the only other point came from Jonathan Drouin — an assist on the opening goal.

“More. I need to see more,” head coach Jared Bednar said of his other three lines. He was forced to play Valeri Nichushkin 29:05 — an insane amount of ice time for a forward. “But we’re playing to win. I’ll play him 39 minutes if I have to.

Nathan MacKinnon recorded his fifth career regular-season hat trick and added an empty netter for good measure, extending both his home and overall point streaks to 17 games. He also reached and blew past the 300-goal mark in his career.

Mikko Rantanen pitched in with two power-play goals, including the game-winner, Nichushkin had three assists and Makar had two helpers in his return following a three-game absence for the Avs, who improved to 13-4-0 at home and 20-11-2 overall.

“We’re asking that top line to do a lot right now. And they’re following through,” Bednar said. “I mean, Val had 29 minutes of ice time as a forward tonight. They’re doing it all — Val did it all — power play, penalty kill. MacK gets four goals. Mikko gets two.”

The Avs were defeated 3-2 by the Blackhawks on Tuesday and Toews called out several of his teammates following the game. It was a wake-up call that required a bounce-back effort for a team that holds itself accountable within the room. Thursday’s victory was anything but perfect. Colorado continued to break down defensively and allow the opposition to counter with several odd-man rushes.

Goalie Alexandar Georgiev was up to the task and bailed his team out on several occasions — none bigger than a back door sliding pad save and a strong rebound follow up on Ottawa’s Vladimir Tarasenko. He was also solid during three late power plays for the Senators to maintain the one-goal lead.

“The structure was pretty good,” Georgiev said of the successful string of PKs to close out the game. “I felt like I knew what my responsibilities were on the PK, making the game feel clear to me. I think we did a good job with taking away their backdoor plays and letting me take the shot.”

It’s the full-team defensive breakdowns that continue to hurt the team. The same breakdowns that have been a topic of conversation nearly every time Bednar has spoken publicly during the Avs’ poor stretch of play in December were once again at the forefront of his postgame availability. Bednar referenced a brutal second period that was eventually salvaged by a late power-play goal from Rantanen.

“When you look at the scoring chances we gave up in the second period, it’s like ridiculous, really,” he said. “And I think there’s probably one, at least one in there that [Georgiev] would like to have back. But then he makes a bunch of big saves and holds us in at the end.”

Trailing 4-2, the Avs got a power play with 1:42 remaining in the second period. After a rough start to that particular opportunity, the top unit ended up finding the back of the net as Rantanen fired it from the circle to beat goalie Joonas Korpisalo. It was a much-needed goal before the break to star the comeback.

“I feel like we’re doing a better job with like loose puck recoveries,” Rantanen said. “When we shoot the puck, we get it back and then their PK gets tired so I think we’re doing a better job with that and it probably helps to score.”

The penalties continued for the Sens. Forward Drake Batherson was sent to the box for holding at 4:49. Colorado’s top unit was it again, this time it was MacKinnon using his wicked wrister to complete the hat trick and tie the game. After a lengthy stoppage to clean up the hats that rained onto the ice, the Sens challenged the goal for offside.

It was deemed a good goal by mere inches, keeping the goal on the board and handing the Avalanche’s red-hot power play another opportunity. Just 54 seconds later, Rantanen tipped the puck past Korpisalo from in tight off a setup from MacKinnon to give the Avalanche its first lead since the opening tally.

Early on, it felt like the Avalanche were looking to repeat last year’s 7-0 rout of the Sens. They led 1-0, had the first eight shots, and were dominating Ottawa all over the ice before the first commercial stoppage. But it didn’t last long as the Sens scored twice in 15 seconds — the latter of which was the flukey bounce — and found themselves back in the game. Colorado led 20-9 in shots after the first period but gave up 22 shots in the poor second period. Georgiev finished with 41 saves as the game ended with Ottawa edging out Colorado 45-39.