After a four-point performance Wednesday in Colorado’s 7-1 rout to eliminate the Arizona Coyotes, Nathan MacKinnon now leads the NHL in playoff scoring with 13 points (four goals).
The Avalanche superstar has points in all eight of the team’s postseason games and is closing in on the club record points streak to begin a playoff of 10, set by Joe Sakic in the Avs’ inaugural season of 1995-96.
MacKinnon’s eight-game streak is tied with Sakic (1997-98), Peter Forsberg and Milan Hejduk (both 2000-01) for second to begin a playoff.
MacKinnon is the second Avalanche player with four points in a series-clinching game, joining Claude Lemieux in Game 6 of the 1997 conference quarterfinals. MacKinnon had a hand in all three of Colorado’s second-period goals Wednesday, tying his own club record for three points in a playoff period.
MacKinnon, 24, is playing in his fourth NHL postseason. He was a rookie in 2014 when the Avs were upset by Minnesota in the first round. Colorado lost in the first round to Nashville in 2018 and came a win shy of advancing to the Western Conference finals in the spring last year against San Jose.
“Things have changed a lot,” since he was an 18-year-old rookie in 2014, MacKinnon said Wednesday.
“We were just trying to claw into the playoffs (from 2015-19) and the last two years it was just a celebration to make the playoffs. Last year was a huge deal that we beat Calgary.”
He now feels like the Avs could be the team to beat. And he’s not alone.
“The group that we have in that locker room, there’s a lot of character and obviously we’ve seen the product we can put on the ice,” Avs captain Gabe Landeskog said. “When we do our job and work together as a group, and work for one another, we can do some really good things.”
Footnotes. The Avalanche finished 3-for-4 on the power play to finish 7-for-20 (35%) in the series. The seven power-play goals are the club’s most since 2001, when it had seven against St. Louis in the conference finals. … Colorado is now 11-2 when leading 3-1 in a playoff series. … Andre Burakovsky had two assists in Game 5 and now the 2018 Stanley Cup champion has a career-high eight postseason points. … Cale Makar had an assist Wednesday and now has a postseason career-best seven points.
Longest point streaks to start playoff year, club history
10 Joe Sakic (1995-96)
8 Nathan MacKinnon (2019-20)
8 Peter Forsberg (2000-01)
8 Milan Hejduk (2000-01)
8 Joe Sakic (1996-97)
7 Peter Forsberg (2003-04)
7 Peter Forsberg (1998-99)