The Colorado Avalanche have been one of the most dominant teams in the NHL this season, and on March 23, 2022, they continued their impressive run with a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars. The game was highlighted by the outstanding performances of Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon, who each had a goal and two assists to lead the Avalanche to victory.
Rantanen, who has been one of the NHL’s top scorers this season, got the Avalanche on the board early in the first period with a power-play goal. The Finnish forward fired a one-timer from the left circle that beat Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger over his blocker. It was Rantanen’s 35th goal of the season, which tied him for second in the NHL behind only Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews.
MacKinnon, who has been equally impressive this season, assisted on Rantanen’s goal and then scored one of his own later in the first period. The Canadian centerman took a pass from Rantanen in the slot and fired a wrist shot past Oettinger for his 29th goal of the season.
The Avalanche continued to dominate in the second period, with Rantanen setting up defenseman Cale Makar for a power-play goal and then assisting on a goal by J.T. Compher. The Stars got on the board with a goal by Roope Hintz, but the Avalanche responded with a goal by Valeri Nichushkin to put the game out of reach.
The win improved the Avalanche’s record to 42-16-6, which was good for first place in the Western Conference and second overall in the NHL. The team has been on a tear since the start of the season, and much of their success can be attributed to the outstanding play of Rantanen and MacKinnon.
Rantanen, who was drafted by the Avalanche in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft, has emerged as one of the league’s top young stars. He has already surpassed his previous career-high of 31 goals, and his 80 points on the season are second in the NHL behind Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid.
MacKinnon, who was the first overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, has been one of the league’s most dynamic players since his rookie season. He has already surpassed the 100-point mark for the third time in his career and is on pace to set a new career-high in goals.
The Avalanche are a team built for the playoffs, with a potent offense and a strong defense led by Makar and goaltender Darcy Kuemper. If Rantanen and MacKinnon can continue to play at this level, there’s no telling how far this team can go in the postseason.
In conclusion, the Colorado Avalanche’s 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars was yet another impressive performance from a team that has been dominant all season long. With Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon leading the way, the Avalanche have established themselves as one of the top teams in the NHL and a serious contender for the Stanley Cup.