The Avalanche returned home from the Global Series in Sweden after having played only two games in the last ten calendar days and beat the Washington Capitals by the score of 6-2.

Colorado’s top line consisting of Gabe Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen welcomed the home crowd back to Pepsi Center, combining for a total of twelve points on the night. The trio has been adequate since joining forces, but Thursday night they proved to be an unstoppable force. Landeskog led the way with his first-career hat trick, while MacKinnon scored a goal and four assists in the victory, and Rantanen contributed one goal and three assists after the three combined for 17 shots on goal.

The winning effort began with a Gabe Landeskog goal just 17 seconds into the game. The Avalanche captain picked up a loose puck off of the opening faceoff and took it all the way in to the Capitals zone and released a hard shot in to the top left corner of the net. The goal established momentum for the Avalanche that Washington never overcame.

After the Avalanche killed a crucial Blake Comeau penalty towards the end of the first period, Colorado’s only penalty of the period, the top line delivered again. Nathan MacKinnon received a pass on a Samuel Girard zone entry and scored his sixth goal of the year. Samuel Girard tallied his second point in an Avalanche sweater on the goal and Colorado headed to the dressing room with a 2-0 lead.

The second period was filled with physical play and a myriad of penalties to go with. A total of nine penalties were called during the second, but no power-play goals were scored. The physicality did come at a cost to the Avalanche, as Vladislav Kamenev left his Avs debut with a broken arm.

The Avalanche were later able to score another five-on-five goal, once again created by their top guys, when Mikko Rantanen stole the puck behind the net on a strong forecheck, passed to Nathan MacKinnon who’s shot was saved by Capitals goaltender Phillip Grubauer. Collin Wilson found the rebound as he was planted in front of the net and scored his first goal of the season. Rantanen and MacKinnon were both credited with their second assists of the night.

Washington was finally able to get on the scoreboard before the second period came to a close when a defensive-zone faceoff went sour for Colorado and Brett Connolly put one past Semyon Varlamov from right in front of the net.

Shortly after Washington made it a 3-1 game, the Avalanche scored again, but the call on the ice was questionably overturned as it was determined Matt Nieto interfered with Phillip Grubauer and the score would remain the same heading into the third period.

At 4:59 into the third, just as Colorado killed off another penalty, Gabe Landeskog was awarded a penalty shot after his breakaway chance was interrupted by a slash to the hands. Landeskog capitalized and scored his second goal of the night, putting Colorado up 4-1.

The scoring was not over for the Avalanche, nor their top players, after the power play unit scored Colorado’s 14th power-play goal of the season. Rantanen scored the goal when Soderberg found him all alone in the faceoff circle on the far-side of the play and Rantanen buried the puck in an open net. MacKinnon was credit with yet another assist and Colorado’s power-play continues to be one of the NHL’s hottest.

Washington finished up its scoring for the night on a power-play goal of their own when Evgeny Kuznetsov found the back of the net on a rush that began in the Capitals’ zone.

Colorado’s top line finished the night appropriately, when the trio scored yet another power-play goal, making the score 6-2 and putting one last dagger in the Capitals before they finish their quick two-game road trip. With efficient puck movement, each member of the line recorded a point on the play and Landeskog sealed the deal for his hat trick.

The Avalanche extended their home record to 6-1-1 and have scored ten power-play goals in their last seven contests. Next, Colorado will head out on the road in a back-to-back set facing both the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings.