Mikko Rantanen scored his 18th goal of the season and the Colorado Avalanche won their seventh game in a row by beating the Arizona Coyotes 5-1
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Mikko Rantanen scored his 18th goal of the season and the Colorado Avalanche won their seventh game in a row by beating the Arizona Coyotes 5-1 on Monday night.
Philipp Grubauer, playing in his 200th NHL game, stopped 24 shots for Colorado. In net throughout the winning streak, Grubauer set a career high with his 19th victory of the season.
“(Grubauer) is doing a nice job of making key saves at key times,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “He had to make two really good saves in the first period. He hasn’t had a lot of work but he has a knack of really staying focused.”
Grubauer leads the league in shutouts with five and came within 3:41 of a sixth in this one.
Joonas Donskoi had two late goals, including an empty-netter, with Tyson Jost assisting on both. Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare and Nazem Kadri also tallied for the Avalanche, who have outscored opponents 32-8 during their winning streak.
Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored his first goal of the season late in the third period.
Rantanen has 10 goals this month, most in the NHL.
“I don’t go to the game and think that I have to score. Usually when you do that it doesn’t happen,” Rantanen said. “We’re getting a lot of bounces — myself and as a team, too.”
Bellemare opened the scoring for Colorado, taking a feed in front from Matt Calvert behind the net to beat goalie Antii Raanta high at 14:22 of the first period.
Just 68 seconds later, Rantanen scored from the left side for a two-goal lead. Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog assisted.
Kadri scored his 10th of the season midway through the second period — dominated by Colorado — to make it 3-0.
Arizona finally got on the board with Ekman-Larsson’s power-play goal with 3:41 left. Kadri was off for holding.
Colorado also won its previous two games in Gila River Arena, beating the Coyotes on Feb. 26 and 27.
Arizona defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson exited after two periods with an upper-body injury. Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet had no update following the game.
AVALANCHE OF SHOTS
Colorado outshot the Coyotes 21-9 in the second and only some strong work by Raanta kept Arizona within range. Raanta came in facing an average of 37 shots per 60 minutes, the highest rate in the league, and faced 34 more on Monday. He finished with 30 saves.
Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski played in his 900th career game. A second-round draft pick by Pittsburgh in 2004, he also has played for Dallas. Goligoski, 35, made his NHL debut in 2007 and played for the Penguins’ Stanley Cup winner in 2009.
The teams meet again Tuesday night in Arizona.
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