SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Mikko Rantanen scored a hat-trick to lead the Colorado Avalanche past the San Jose Sharks 6-2 Thursday night.
Rantanen reached 52 goals on the season and finished with four points in the game. Nathan MacKinnon also scored a goal and had four points. Ben Meyers scored the other two goals for Colorado, and Alexandar Georgiev made 21 saves.
“(I) play with good teammates and good linemates. They’re making good plays for me to score like today again. It’s just fun to share it with them, for sure,” Rantanen said.
Erik Karlsson had a goal and assist to up his point total to 98 for the season. Steven Lorentz also scored for San Jose. Kaapo Kahkonen made 15 saves before he was pulled.
“We had a great start to the game. We were just kind of going blow for blow in the beginning. We felt good about that first period going into the second. And then we had that couple-minute lapse where they just put it in,” Lorentz said. “I think it was two or three (goals) in the span of three or four minutes. That’s just stuff that can’t really happen if you’re trying to win a hockey game.”
Karlsson scored his 23rd goal of the season when he crashed the net to find a loose puck to slot home at 15:43 of the first. Forward Jacob Peterson earned a secondary assist on the play extending his point streak to five.
“They’re the defending Stanley Cup champions, and they’re just better than we are,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “At the end of the day, talent caught up to us over a two-game series. That’s all that happened, really.”
Rantanen scored his 50th of the season at 16:45 of the first period by cleaning up a rebound in front.
During the second period, both MacKinnon and Rantanen had three points. Rantanen finished the second with two goals and one assist, while MacKinnon got one goal and two assists.
“Just seems like the bigger the game as it comes down the stretch, some players can have a tough time creating offense when things really tighten up the second half of the year,”
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said of MacKinnon. “He just seems to find a way to become more productive than in the big games.”
Ben Meyers scored his second goal of the season on a breakaway at 15:08 of the second frame. Matt Nieto would get his first of two assists to Meyers on the play.
“It’s good to see because you need that secondary scoring. You need all lines contributing, and he certainly did that tonight,” Bednar said.
Meyers added his third of the season at 3:12 of the final period. Nieto would get a secondary assist on the play. The Avalanche will visit the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.