DENVER — It was a productive night for the Avalanche’s top line as captain Gabriel Landeskog had a hat trick, Nathan MacKinnon finished with a goal and four assists, and Colorado surged past the Winnipeg Jets 7-1 at Ball Arena.
“Each of us bring a different dynamic, which makes us really good and really tough to play against,” MacKinnon said of the top trio.
Goaltender Darcy Kuemper tidied up Thursday while his teammates picked up steam. He made 34 saves in a solid performance.
Landeskog fired into an open back door with just under three minutes left in regulation to secure his fourth career hat trick and first since 2018.
About five minutes earlier, MacKinnon netted just his fourth goal of the season — well off his usual pace. He made a sharp stop along the boards, skated toward the middle and cleanly beat Connor Hellebuyck (35 saves).
MacKinnon's point streak is at 12 games (3 goals, 20 assists).
“Obviously trying to play-make but still want to generate a ton of shots and hopefully try to find some more goals,” MacKinnon said. “I have four, which isn’t fantastic, but it’s not only about that I guess — it's easy to say that when you’re not scoring — but (you) try to help out a lot of different ways.”
Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele scored on an early power play. Nazem Kadri tipped in an Erik Johnson slap shot to wipe out the advantage.
Pierre-Luc Dubois sent Kadri to the ice in front of the benches, tangled up with Logan O’Connor. O’Connor popped up and went after Dubois. In addition to matching roughing minors, Dubois was penalized for interfering with Kadri. Kadri was fine but summoned by concussion spotters, coach Jared Bednar said later.
Landeskog quickly scored his first of the night on the ensuing power play. Once he got out of the penalty box, O’Connor helped fill in for Kadri until he returned later in the second period.
Mikko Rantanen and Landeskog allowed Colorado to pull away, each putting back a rebound of a MacKinnon shot to make it 4-1.
“Even right away, out of the gate, I thought they were involved physically, real assertive on loose pucks,” Bednar said.
“They were a hard-working line tonight.”
Bowen Byram scored with 11 seconds left in the game for his fifth goal of the season.
Kadri’s 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists) were fifth in the NHL after the game.