SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and an assist as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Florida Panthers 5-3 on Saturday night.
Logan O’Connor, Matt Nieto and Devon Toews also scored as Colorado won for the second time in five games (2-2-1). Alexandar Georgiev stopped 42 shots.
Aaron Ekblad, Sam Bennett and Aleksander Barkov scored for Florida, which snapped a three-game win streak. Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 45 saves.
Colorado took a 2-0 lead on the Panthers with goals from O’Connor and Nieto within the opening 10 minutes.
The score stayed that way until Ekblad floated a shot from just inside the blue line and through traffic past Georgiev at 7:03 of the second. It was his ninth.
Just 1:05 later, Bennett scored on a hard wrist shot from the right circle to tie it at 2 with his 14th.
Colorado regained the 25 seconds later when Toews scored on a big rebound from Bowen Byram’s shot. It was his fourth.
MacKinnon gave the Avalanche a two-goal lead again with a power-play goal with 5:59 left in the middle period.
Barkov pulled the Panthers back within one goal at 11:03 of the third off a pass from Sam Reinhart for his 15th.
Florida thought it had tied the score on a power-play goal from Brandon Montour, but play continued as officials ruled correctly that the defenseman’s shot with 4:21 remaining struck the goal cage and never fully crossed the goal line.
MacKinnon sealed the win with an empty-netter with 58.5 seconds left for his 16th.
NOTES: The Avalanche lost D Erik Johnson to a lower-body injury in the second period. Johnson appeared to block a shot and got hit in the lower leg; he had to be helped to the dressing room and did not return. … Barkov returned to the Florida lineup after he missed his team’s game Thursday against San Jose. Barkov blocked a shot with his hand Monday against the visiting Lightning. With Barkov returning, Florida made C Colin White a healthy scratch.
Avalanche: Host Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.
Panthers: At Minnesota on Monday night.
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