Logan O’Connor was the trailing player on a 2-on-0 breakaway against a goalie-less empty net in the final moments of the Avalanche’s 7-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. O’Connor was sitting on two goals. His teammate with the puck — Nathan MacKinnon — also had two goals.

After crossing the blueline and settling the puck down, MacKinnon passed up his own opportunity at a hat trick to give O’Connor his first career three-goal game. It was the type of play leaders make and one that galvanizes a dressing room. For O’Connor, the hat trick was a reward for what has arguably been the best stretch of hockey he’s played in the NHL.

O’Connor is up to 11 goals and 22 points in just 45 games. His previous career-high in goals was nine, which he achieved in a full 82 games in 2022-23. He has seven goals and 14 points in his last 14 games.

Playing on a line with Ross Colton and Miles Wood, Colorado’s trio combined for three goals and five assists. For Colton, it was his first career three-assist game and first three-point effort with the Avs. For Wood, who returned from a lengthy illness during the road trip, his two points give him five in three games since re-joining the team.

Mikko Rantanen had the other two goals for the Avs, who finished the road trip 3-2-0 and will play two more games at home before the lengthy All-Star break.

Colorado led 2-0 after the first period despite getting outshot 12-5 and outplayed for the majority of the period. In their one power-play opportunity, the Avs were held without a shot. They eventually added to their lead 43 seconds into the second period, building a much-needed 3-0 cushion. The Flyers entered the game on a five-game winning streak and showed flashes of why they’ve continued to impress this season.

After finally beating goalie Alexandar Georgiev to make it 3-1, Philadelphia continued to press, eventually turning a 5-2 deficit into a one-goal game with 11:49 remaining in the third period. But a late penalty from Scott Laughton, who was livid with the call — as was coach John Tortorella — put the game away.

“We did enough good things to capitalize on some chances. A little bit opportunistic,” Avs coach Jared Bednar told reporters in Philadelphia. “Against this team, you have to stay super aggressive.”

Rantanen capitalized on the man advantage for his 26th of the season. It gave the Avs a 6-4 lead with 7:37 remaining to set up the eventual empty-net goal from O’Connor.

Colorado is off for three days before hosting the Washington Capitals on Wednesday and the L.A. Kings on Friday. The team is expecting reinforcements back for those games in the form of forward Artturi Lehkonen and defenseman Bowen Byram.