NHL: Avalanche edge Senators for fourth straight win

Mikko Rantanen had a goal and two assists, Cale Makar added a goal and an assist and the visiting Colorado Avalanche beat the Ottawa Senators 5-4 on Thursday night.

Valeri Nichushkin, Evan Rodrigues and Lars Eller also scored, Nathan MacKinnon recorded three assists and Jonas Johansson made 32 saves for Colorado, which posted its fourth consecutive victory.

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Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist while Drake Batherson, Travis Hamonic and Shane Pinto scored goals for Ottawa, which took its fourth loss in a row. Tim Stutzle had three assists, Jake Sanderson finished with two assists and Mads Sogaard turned away 25 shots.

The Avalanche (39-22-6, 84 points) went ahead 1-0 when Makar beat Sogaard at 2:35 of the first period for his 16th goal of the season.

Colorado made it 2-0 just 2:25 later when Nichushkin deflected Makar’s shot over Sogaard. It was his 14th goal of the season.

The Senators (33-31-4, 70 points) got one back on a power play late in the first when Batherson redirected Stutzle’s shot past Johansson at 19:33 for his 20th goal of the campaign.

The Avalanche restored the two-goal advantage with Rantanen’s 45th goal at 4:23 of the second.

Ottawa answered less than four minutes later when Pinto’s wrister beat Johansson at 8:20 for his 18th.

Colorado made it 4-2 when MacKinnon set up Rodrigues for a snap shot that beat Sogaard at 15:17, his 14th of the season, and then it was a three-goal game after an unusual goal.

The Avalanche sent the puck down the ice, it bounced off the backboards and to the crease. Sogaard briefly controlled it but didn’t completely cover it, allowing Eller to poke it in at 18:09 of the second. It was Eller’s eighth of the season and first since coming to Colorado from the Washington Capitals in a March 1 trade.

The Senators made it 5-3 when Hamonic cleaned up Stutzle’s rebound at 2:52 of the third, his sixth goal of the season. Tkachuk’s 28th goal, on the power play at 13:18, got Ottawa within one.

With the teams skating four-on-four, Sogaard went off for an extra skater with 1:30 remaining and the Avalanche took a tripping penalty with 40.9 seconds left, but Ottawa couldn’t get the equalizer.

–Field Level Media

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