Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche win at Minnesota Wild, solidify wild-card spot

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Star forward Nathan MacKinnon and the postseason-hungry Avalanche extended their points streak in style Tuesday night.

MacKinnon scored 11 seconds into the Avs’ three-goal third period to increase his points streak to nine games and Colorado went on to victory in gaining points in its eighth straight.

The Avs’ 5-1 triumph over the Minnesota Wild gave them 82 points, solidifying their Western Conference wild-card playoff spot and moving just three shy of the Wild in the Central Division race.

Rookie forward J.T. Compher (two goals) and goalie Semyon Varlamov (33 saves) also played big roles in front of a disappointed partisan crowd of 19,171 at the Xcel Energy Center. The Avs, who were 4-for-4 in penalty killing and 2-of-3 on the power play, finished the regular season 3-0-1 against the Wild. Colorado won the previous two games 7-1 and 7-2 in Denver.

Compher’s second goal at 13:26 of the third period came on the power play — the eighth consecutive game Colorado capitalized with the man-advantage. Rookie forward Tyson Jost added another power-play goal to make it 5-1 with 1:29 to play.

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