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Avalanche Game 61 Recap: Century 29

Nathan MacKinnon reaches the century mark in points for the second straight season in the Colorado Avalanche's big win over the Chicago Blackhawks

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished about a month ago 3 min read

Leap Day. February 29. A special day that happens every four years, and on this Leap Day, the Colorado Avalanche are one of many NHL teams in action. In Game 61 of the Avs' season, the team is in the Windy City facing off against the Chicago Blackhawks; the third meeting of the season and the Avs' last visit to Chicago. The Avalanche are coming off a huge victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, and while February 29 is a special occurrence, it simply means it's the final day before the NHL's March Madness starts.

The goalie matchup was Justus Annunen vs Petr Mrazek, and the teams were back and forth to start. The Avs had the shots lead, but the Blackhawks started pressing and took the shots advantage from Colorado. It did look like the opening frame would be scoreless throughout, but Zach Parise changed that with a goal from Jack Johnson, and the pair of wily veterans made it 1-0 for the Avs after 20 minutes. The first period saw both teams behave, but in the second period, the Avs received the first power play of the game. It was a successful one, as Ross Colton made it 2-0, with the assists coming from Parise and Nathan MacKinnon. With the helper, MacKinnon reached 99 points, and the wait for 100 began.

42 seconds later, Parise scored again to make it 3-0, giving him a three point night. Wow! Blackhawks received their first PP less than a minute later, that got killed off, and it was followed by a fight between Reese Johnson and Chris Wagner which served as the last penalties of the game. The Blackhawks were looking to save some semblance of face with a three-goal deficit, but with less than two seconds left, Devon Toews made it 4-0. Wow. So yeah, the game was done, and as I watched the third period, I was anxiously pulling for MacKinnon to get that hundredth point. He had a few close calls; one shot was saved by Mrazek, and his attempt at another helper saw Artturi Lehkonen's shot saved. As the third period progressed, it didn't look like MacKinnon would be out there again, which was fine. It was 4-0. No need to have the stars out there.

But MacKinnon was out there...and he did this:

A late goal in the third period, and there it was: Point #100! The Avalanche won 5-0, and for Justus Annunen, it was a 24-save shutout. Annunen's been lights out for the last two games; his last start before this was the game against the Detroit Red Wings, an overtime loss that saw Annunen fight to bring the game to extra time. With the trade deadline closing in, I would think that the Avs may still want to pursue another goalie. Zach Parise had one hell of a game, and then there's MacKinnon. For the second straight season, MacKinnon has 100 points, and he's now behind points leader Nikita Kucherov by four in the race.

Fun fact: this is the Avalanche's second-ever Leap Day win; in fact, it's our second straight. This win capped off a strong February finish; after a 1-4-1 road trip to start the month, the Avs went 4-1-1 in the latter half of February. We are definitely ready for March, which will begin with the Avs in Nashville against the Predators.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

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  • Philip Gipsonabout a month ago

    You did a pretty smashing job with this next recap, my friend.

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