Avs heat up to beat Ducks
Landeskog’s three points get Colorado to league-leading 60 points
Candidates for the Presidents’ Trophy have been identified and the Avalanche is at the top of the exclusive list.
Colorado won the trophy with the NHL’S best record in 1997 and 2001, and with just 15 games remaining this season is the favorite to win it for the third time.
On Sunday in Anaheim, Nathan Mackinnon extended his team scoring lead to 50 points, linemate Gabe Landeskog climbed to 40 and the Avalanche (28-9-4) became the first NHL team to reach 60 points.
Mackinnon and Landeskog each had goals and multiple-point performances to lead Colorado to a 4-1 victor y over the Ducks at Honda Center, capping a two-game sweep. The Avs are 7-1-0 in their past eight games and 15-1-2 in their last 18.
“All around good team win. Good commitment to defend and it looked like we had our legs and were more relentless at the puck,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said.
Landeskog’s team-high three points gave him 500 for his career, making him the fifth player to reach that mark in an Avalanche sweater. Mackinnon, who extended his points streak to nine games and has an Nhlmost 28 points since March 12, is No. 4 on that list at 545 career points.
The Avs, who blanked the Ducks 2-0 on Friday behind goalie Jonas Johansson’s 28 saves, also got goals from Andre Burakovsky and
Ryan Graves and another solid performance from Johansson (24 saves). Johansson again stepped in for Philipp Grubauer, who has played in an Nhl-most 33 games. But Grubauer didn’t even don his pads Sunday, as recently acquired backup Devan Dubnyk served as Johansson’s backup.
“I think everyone on the team did their best today,” Johansson said.
Colorado led 2-0 before Johansson’s second straight shutout bid ended with Jamie Drysdale’s goal at 12:37 of the third period. Graves and Mackinnon added insurance goals in the final six minutes. The Avs outshot the Ducks 3725.
“It looked like we didn’t have our legs (Friday) night. We were down on energy and the day off replenished our tanks,” Bednar said. “I thought we skated real well tonight. We played a strong nor th game, supporting the puck was great.
“Jonas was good in goal. The only goal that beats him hits Cale (Makar) in front and then sor t up jumps up in the top corner. But he had a great night again. Looks like he’s getting better and better ever y game for us.”
The Avs finished 3-1 on their four-game road trip. They return to Denver and host Arizona on Monday night at Ball Arena.
DUBNYK STEPS INTO LINEUP
Dubnyk’s sixth NHL team will give him his best chance to win the Stanley Cup, and that’s what the veteran goalie embraced Saturday after the initial shock that he was traded from the San Jose Sharks to the Avalanche.
In the playoffs, Dubnyk, 34, will likely serve as Grubauer’s primarily backup, with Johansson probably being the third-string guy. Dubnyk made a sixhour drive from San Jose to Anaheim ahead of Sunday’s game and donned No. 40 on the bench for the Avs.
“Obviously, a bit of a whirlwind yesterday when you get told, tr ying to figure life out a little bit,” Dubnyk said Sunday in a video conference call from Anaheim. “But when I was sitting in the car, (it was) kind of hitting me a little bit how great of an opportunity to have a chance to win the Stanley Cup.”