SAN JOSE SHARKS

Nathan MacKinnon stays hot at home as Avalanche get by Sharks 3-1

Dec 31, 2023, 8:12 PM | Updated: Jan 1, 2024, 9:20 am

Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against Calen Addison #33 of the San Jose Shar...

DENVER, COLORADO - DECEMBER 31: Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against Calen Addison #33 of the San Jose Sharks at Ball Arena on December 31, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Valeri Nichushkin had a goal and an assist, Mikko Rantanen and Josh Manson also scored and the Colorado Avalanche beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Denver on Sunday night.

Nathan MacKinnon had two assists and Alexandar Georgiev stopped 10 shots for Colorado.

Tomas Hertl scored and Kaapo Kahkonen made 30 saves for San Jose, which has lost eight straight games, all in regulation.

MacKinnon had his 19-game point streak ended Friday night at St. Louis, but he extended his home point streak to 19 games with an assist on Rantanen’s goal. It is the longest home point streak to start a season in franchise history.

Colorado defenseman Samuel Girard was back in the lineup after missing 20 games while receiving care from the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. He resumed practicing with the team last week and was activated Saturday.

The Avalanche got the game-winning goal on a delayed penalty. Jack Johnson had the puck in the slot and passed it to Nichushkin at the bottom of the right circle, and Nichushkin put it into the open net at 16:31 of the third. It was his 17th goal of the season.

The Sharks pulled Kahkonen for an extra skater, and Manson scored into an empty net at 18:53 for his fourth marker of the season.

The Avalanche broke through on their first power-play opportunity early in the game. Nichushkin fed MacKinnon at the bottom of the left circle, MacKinnon slid a pass through the slot to Rantanen at the other circle and Rantanen one-timed it by Kahkonen at 6:58 of the first.

It was his 19th goal of the season.

San Jose had just five shots on goal late into the second period but started to apply pressure and got a power play at 16:45. Just eight seconds later, Mikael Granlund passed to Hertl in the slot, and Hertl’s wrist shot beat Georgiev to tie things at 1-1.

The Sharks nearly took the lead late in the second when a turnover gave Granlund a wide-open shot from in close, but he was unable to convert.

–Field Level Media

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