EditorsNote: Edit 1: Fixed word in second graf
Semyon Varlamov had 24 saves for his first shutout of the season and Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist as the Colorado Avalanche beat the host Detroit Red Wings 2-0 on Sunday night.
Gabe Landeskog also had a goal and an assist, and Mikko Rantanen, the leading scorer in the NHL, had assists on both goals for the Avalanche, who have gone 9-0-2 since losing five in a row.
Colorado’s top line accounted for all the points, and the shutout is the first this season for the team.
MacKinnon, who led the league in scoring in November and was named the NHL’s second star for the month, kept up his strong play with his 19th goal of the season. He struck six seconds after Jonathan Ericsson drew a holding minor.
MacKinnon won the faceoff back to Landeskog, who fed Rantanen low. Rantanen quickly sent a pass to MacKinnon in the slot, and his one-timer beat former teammate Jonathan Bernier at 4:54 of the second period.
Tyson Jost had a chance to give Colorado a two-goal lead when he had a breakaway later in the second period, but the puck slid off his stick as he tried to backhand it past Bernier.
Bernier, who was Varlamov’s backup last season, finished with 27 saves.
The game featured two teams that compromised one of the most heated rivalries from 1996-2002.
The Red Wings were in the Western Conference at that time, and the two met in the conference finals three times and faced each other in the playoffs five times in seven seasons. Three times the team that advanced won the Stanley Cup.
The Red Wings have moved to the Eastern Conference and are rebuilding, but some ember of the rivalry arose. There were more fights (two) than goals until the final minute.
Detroit pulled Bernier for an extra attacker late in the game and nearly tied it, but Varlamov had a big save on Tyler Bertuzzi with 1:15 left. Landeskog then scored into an empty net at 19:01 to seal it.
—Field Level Media