OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Mikko Rantanen had a goal and two assists, Lars Eller scored a strange deciding goal and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Ottawa Senators 5-4 on Thursday night for their fourth straight victory.
Colorado defenseman Cale Makar had a goal and an assist, and Lars Eller, Valeri Nichushkin and Evan Rodrigues also scored. Nathan MacKinnon had three assists, and Jonas Johansson stopped 31 shots.
Nathan MacKinnon, Drake Batherson, Shane Pinto, Travis Hamonic and Brady Tkachuk scored for Ottawa, Tim Stutzle had three assists and Mads Sogaard made 25 saves. The Senators have lost four in a row.
The Avalanche scored three times in the second period, including Eller’s odd goal, to take a 5-2 lead.
After Rantanen gave the Avalanche a 3-1 lead at 4:23, Pinto drew the Senators back within a goal eight minutes into the period. Rodrigues gave the Avalanche a 4-2 lead with 4:43 to go, and then the weirdness happened.
On what the Senators appeared to think was icing against the Avalanche, the puck bounced off the end boards and was in the corner of the crease by Sogaard’s pad. With Senators’ defenseman Jake Sanderson standing next to his netminder, no whistle came to end the play. After a couple of seconds, Eller skated in and jammed the puck past a confused group of Senators with 1:51 left.
After a lengthy review on a goaltender interference challenge from Senators coach DJ Smith, the goal stood.
Hamonic scored at 2:52 of the third period and Tkachuk scored on the power play at 13:18 to pull the Senators within a goal.
Avalanche: At Detroit on Saturday.
Senators: Host Toronto on Saturday night.