Zach Parise and Nathan MacKinnon star as the Avalanche pound the Blackhawks 5-0

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

CHICAGO (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon put a stylish finish on a runaway win for the Colorado Avalanche.

MacKinnon scored with 2:28 left for his 100th point this season, and the Avalanche rolled to a 5-0 victory over the lowly Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

Zach Parise had two goals and an assist as Colorado earned its second straight win. Ross Colton and Devon Toews also scored, and Justus Annunen made 24 saves in his first career shutout in nine NHL appearances.

“He’s been looking great,” MacKinnon said of Annunen. “Pumped for him. It’s pretty special to get your first shutout.”

MacKinnon scored his 36th goal when he sent a wrist shot between Petr Mrazek’s legs. He also picked up his 64th assist on Colton’s goal in the second period.

The 28-year-old MacKinnon, one of the front-runners for NHL MVP, became the first player in Avalanche history with consecutive seasons with at least 100 points. He had 42 goals and 69 assists in 71 games last year.

While MacKinnon quickly glossed over the accomplishment — “Yeah, it’s great,” he said —Colorado coach Jared Bednar was effusive when asked about his star forward.

“Incredible feat to be able to contribute on a daily basis and to be able to hit 100 at this point in the season is impressive,” Bednar said.

The Avalanche improved to 2-1 against the Blackhawks this season. The teams play again on Monday night at Colorado.

Last-place Chicago dropped to 5-20-4 in its last 29 games. Mrazek made 29 saves for the Blackhawks, who were shut out for the eighth time this season.

“I don’t think we responded well when we got down,” defenseman Jarred Tinordi said. “I think we got tentative. We were just kind of watching them make plays, watching them exit the zone, and it’s frustrating.”

Colton’s 13th goal gave Colorado a 2-0 lead 6:56 into the second. With Connor Bedard in the penalty box for interference, Colton flipped a rebound over a prone Mrazek after his redirection was stopped by the goaltender.

Parise then finished Ryan Johansen’s drive to the net, knocking it home at 7:38 for his third goal in his 12th game with Colorado. He also scored in the first on a 2-on-1 break with defenseman Jack Johnson.

“They always feel good, when you can contribute to the offense,” Parise said. “There’s so much firepower on this team that if you can get some help down the lineup it will go a long way for us.”

Toews made it 4-0 when he drove a slap shot by Mrazek on the goaltender’s stick side with 1.7 seconds left in the period. It was the 11th goal on the season for the defenseman.

“They’re a great team,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. “We just, I think, opened up a little bit in the second period and got off a bit of our game plan ... and then that just lets them go.”

UP NEXT

Avalanche: At the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

Blackhawks: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl