Andre Burakovsky had three goals to record the first hat trick of his career, Darcy Kuemper had 29 saves, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 in Denver on Sunday night in a game that included a brutal hit on Avs defenseman Jacob MacDonald.
Mikko Rantanen had three assists and Nathan MacKinnon had two for Colorado.
Joe Thornton and Brandon Montour scored goals for the Panthers, while Carter Verhaeghe had two assists and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 shots for the Panthers.
MacDonald was taken off the ice on a stretcher at 2:15 of the second period after taking a hard check from Florida’s Ryan Lomberg along the boards in the Colorado zone. MacDonald went down on his back and wasn’t moving when he was attended to by the Colorado medical staff.
He was placed on a stretcher after a few minutes and was carried off the ice. It was later reported he did not need to leave the arena and was alert with feeling in all extremities.
The Avalanche were already without captain Gabriel Landeskog, who left Friday’s game against Detroit with a lower-body injury. Coach Jared Bednar said Landeskog will miss at least two weeks.
Nazem Kadri was also out for the second straight game.
Florida was also missing two of its top forwards — Aleksander Barkov and Anthony Duclair — while Maxim Mamin was also scratched.
In a meeting of the two highest-scoring teams in the NHL, goals were scarce for nearly two periods. Burakovsky made it 1-0 with a wrist shot at 19:37 of the second period.
Burakovsky struck again early in the third when he lifted a backhand shot between Bobrovsky’s pad and glove at 2:03.
Thornton got one back with a power-play goal at 7:41, his third of the season, and Montour tied it at 10:15. It was his fourth goal of the season.
Burakovsky struck again at 11:43 to put Colorado back in front. It was his 12th of the season.
Bobrovsky came off for an extra skater in the final minutes and the Panthers got a power play with 1:18 left but couldn’t score.
–Field Level Media
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