NHL Roundup: Nathan MacKinnon overwhelms Kings, Rangers blank Flyers, and more
Today’s NHL Roundup recaps all the action from Wednesday, April 13, 2022 highlighted by Nathan MacKinnon.
The Columbus Blues Jackets easily handled the Montreal Canadiens with Jack Roslovic leading the way by scoring twice. Meanwhile, the New York Rangers rolled into Philadelphia and took care of business against the hapless Flyers with a resounding 4-0 win.
In Colorado, the engine of the Avalanche offense went off against the Los Angeles Kings. Nathan MacKinnon absolutely dominated with a 5-point night that included a hat trick. Defenseman Cale Makar potted four points (81 pts) to cut into Nashville Predators’s Roman Josi’s (87) scoring lead for defensemen.
Avalanche 9, Kings 3 as Nathan Mackinnon goes off
Nathan MacKinnon finished with three goals and two assists for the Colorado Avalanche, who set a franchise record for wins in a season by clobbering the Los Angeles Kings 9-3 on Wednesday in Denver.
“I was blessed tonight,” MacKinnon said.
Cale Makar had a goal and three assists, Valeri Nichushkin and Nicolas Aube-Kubel each scored twice and Darcy Kuemper made 29 saves for the Avalanche, who have 53 wins and lead the league with 112 points. Colorado earned its seventh consecutive victory.
Makar is also battling Predators defenseman Roman Josi for the Norris Trophy as top defenseman in the NHL.
Adrian Kempe, Alex Iafallo and Phillip Danault scored for Los Angeles, and Jordan Spence had two assists. Jonathan Quick gave up three goals on 10 shots before he was replaced by Cal Petersen midway through the first period.
Petersen finished with 19 saves for the Kings, who remain three points ahead of Vegas for third place in the Pacific Division, though the Golden Knights have two games in hand.
Rangers 4, Flyers 0
Kaapo Kakko scored twice and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev recorded the shutout as visiting New York claimed a victory over free-falling and injury-riddled Philadelphia by a 4-0 score.
The 21 year-old had missed 31 straight games with an injury before returning on Saturday in a playoff clinching win over the Ottawa Senators. Playing in his third game since returning, his goal midway through the first period was his first in 15 games dating by to December 15 in Arizona.
Artemi Panarin and Andrew Copp also scored, while Jacob Trouba and Barclay Goodrow each collected a pair of assists for the Rangers (48-21-6, 102 points), who sit two points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina does have one game in hand.
Georgiev stopped 28 shots for his second shutout of the season and eighth in his career. Alexis Lafreniere was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant noted he wanted to give the 20 year-old a rest and that Lafreniere will be back for the next game.
“Tonight we traded chances a little too much,” Gallant said. “But overall we’re getting ready for it (playoffs) and hopefully we keep playing well down the stretch.”
Felix Sandstrom made 30 saves for the Flyers, who have lost four of five games. It’s only the second time in franchise history the Flyers have posted 40 regulation-time losses. The other time was 2006-07.
Blue Jackets 5, Canadiens 1
Jack Roslovic scored twice and Patrik Laine had a goal and two assists to help Columbus keep its slim playoffs alive by defeating visiting Montreal.
“When it’s going it’s going,” Roslovic said. “You take moments like this and try to hold onto them.”
Columbus’ Emil Bemstrom and Cole Sillinger each added a goal and an assist, and Gustav Nyquist and Jakub Voracek had two assists apiece. Elvis Merzlikins made 20 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have won three out of four.
Ryan Poehling scored and Sam Montembeault made 26 saves for the Canadiens, who have lost three in a row.
–Field Level Media contributed to this report