Nichushkin scores, MacKinnon-less Avs rout Canucks 7-1

Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin, left, celebrates his goal with defensemen Samuel Girard and Devon Toews, right, during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — Valeri Nichushkin scored in his return from injury, Mikko Rantanen had a goal and two assists and the Colorado Avalanche overcame the absence of star center Nathan MacKinnon to rout the Vancouver Canucks 7-1 on Thursday night.

Logan O’Connor and Devon Toews each added a goal and an assist, Gabriel Landeskog, Darren Helm and J.T. Compher also scored, and Darcy Kuemper made 21 saves.

Nils Hoglander scored after Vancouver fell behind 6-0, and Thatcher Demko allowed six goals on 26 shots before being pulled after two periods for the Canucks.

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar announced Wednesday that MacKinnon, a four-time All-Star, would miss about three weeks with a lower-body injury suffered Saturday in a loss at Columbus.

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