MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

VANCOUVER — Nathan MacKinnon scored his second goal of the game 27 seconds into overtime as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 Saturday night.

MacKinnon used his speed to go around a Canuck defender then scored on the blocker side.

The Canucks forced the overtime when Alex Edler and Brock Boeser scored goals 1:37 apart in the third period. Both goals came with the Canuck goaltender pulled for an extra attacker.

Boeser tied the game with one minute remaining on the rebound of a Elias Pettersson shot.

Andre Burakovsky had a goal and an assist for Colorado. Nazem Kadri and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare also scored for the Avalanche (12-6-2), who are 4-1-0 in their last five games. Rookie defenceman Cale Makar collected four assists. Adam Gaudette scored twice on the power play for the Canucks (10-7-4), who are 1-4-2 their last seven games. Josh Leivo had two assists.

Vancouver netminder Thatcher Demko made 18 saves. Avalanche goaltender Antoine Bibeau, who was making his first NHL start since the 2016-17 season when he started two games for Toronto, stopped 28 shots.

Burakovsky put the Avs ahead 4-2 early in the third period. MacKinnon controlled play behind the Canuck goal, then passed to an open Burakovsky who had an empty net to shoot at.

Makar, who leads all rookies with 22 points, assisted on both Colorado goals in the second period. With the Avalanche on the power play, Makar sent a cross-ice pass to MacKinnon, who blasted a shot past Demko for his 12th of the season at 7:51. The Avs made it 3-1 at 11:28 when Makar hit Kadri with a long pass after he got behind the Canuck defence. Kadri scored on a wrist shot to extend his points streak (two goals, four assists) to five games.

The Canucks cut the lead to one on Gaudette’s second goal with just two seconds left in the period. Sven Baertschi took the puck off the boards and passed to Gaudette, who scored his fourth goal of the year.

The teams exchanged first-period goals. The Avs scored at 6:56 when Bellemare deflected defenceman Erik Johnson’s shot from the blue line past Demko. Colorado had a chance to take a 2-0 lead just 45 seconds later but Demko used a left pad save to rob Joonas Donskio on a rebound.

Gaudette tied the score at 18:27, just 20 seconds into a power play. Leivo drove behind the Colorado net, then tossed the puck out to Gaudette. With Bibeau glued to his post watching Leivo, Gaudette made no mistake into a gapping net.

READ MORE: Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Colorado, which lost 6-2 in Edmonton Thursday, has been depleted by injuries. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer has missed four games with a lower-body injury and backup Pavel Francouz suffered a head injury 31 seconds into a win at Winnipeg Tuesday. Also on the injured list are Tyson Jost (upper body), Mikko Rantanen (lower body), Gabriel Landeskog (lower body) and Colin Wilson (lower body).

NOTES: Coach Travis Green says centre Jay Beagle, who missed his third game with a lower-body injury, could dress Tuesday when the Canucks play in Dallas, the first stop of a six-game road trip. … Vancouver centre Brandon Sutter missed his second game with a groin strain. … The Canucks wore their retro black uniforms with the skate on the front of the jersey. … Defenceman Nikita Zaborov, returning to the lineup after missing three games with a broken jaw, earned an assist on Colorado’s first goal. … Actor Hilary Swank was in the crowd and drew cheers when shown on the big screen wearing a Canuck toque.

Jim Morris, The Canadian Press

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