Avalanche score 7 in 3rd straight, cruise past Red Wings 7-3
DENVER (AP) — Andre Burakovsky had two goals, Darren Helm scored in his first game against his former team, and the Colorado Avalanche became the first team in 26 years to score seven goals in three straight games with a 7-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.
J.T. Compher had a goal in his return from an injury, Nathan MacKinnon, Samuel Girard and Cale Makar also scored, and Devon Toews had three assists for the Avalanche. They are the first team since Pittsburgh from Nov. 4-10, 1995 to score seven goals in three straight.
Colorado beat the New York Rangers 7-3 on Wednesday and Philadelphia 7-5 on Monday.
“The crazy thing is we haven’t played our best hockey yet,” Toews said.
Darcy Kuemper stopped 23 shots for Colorado, which built a 3-0 first-period lead in its first home game following a 3-1-1 trip.
Filip Hronek had a goal and an assist and Vladislav Namestnikov and Joe Veleno also scored for the Red Wings in their third straight loss and seventh in a row against Colorado.
Thomas Greiss was yanked after allowing three goals on seven shots, with Alex Nedeljkovic making 31 saves in relief.
“This team, probably, is going to test where you are defensively probably more than any other team in the league,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “They’re as good offensively as any team in the league, both on their rush and their O-zone. And obviously we’ve got to get better.”
Helm spent the previous 14 seasons in Detroit, debuting in the NHL as a 21-year-old in 2007. He had 251 points in 744 regular-season games with the Red Wings and won the Stanley Cup in 2008. Helm signed a free-agent deal with Colorado in July.
“It’s home,” Helm said of Detroit.
Helm took a feed from Nicolas Aube-Kubel and scored on a breakaway at 10:49 of the first period to chase Greiss.
Compher, who had missed the previous 11 games with an upper-body injury, tipped in Toews’ shot at 5:01 of the first, and Andre Burakovsky scored off a one-timer just over two minutes later.
After Veleno slipped a backhand past Kuemper to make it 3-2 at 3:21 of the second, the Avalanche responded with an offensive onslaught.
MacKinnon and Burakovsky scored 23 seconds apart, and Girard made it 6-2 less than three minutes later.
“We’re just hungry around the net,” Burakovsky said.
Added coach Jared Bednar: “Guys are moving well and shooting well. ... It’s been really good as of late.”
The Avs were without leading scorer Nazem Kadri, who sustained a lower-body injury Wednesday. But they welcomed back Compher, who played on the third line as the NHL’s highest-scoring team won its third straight and sixth in a row at home.
Hronek went to the dressing room after Cale Makar cross-checked him into the boards late in the third period, but later returned. Makar then scored an empty-net goal just after leaving the penalty box.
“We’re looking for answers,” Detroit captain Dylan Larkin said. “It’s not uncommon to look around the league and see everyone has a great home record. Fans are back in the building, it’s exciting to be home. There’s extra jump, so we have to find a way, similar to what we did in Boston, to take away that momentum and energy from the crowd.”
Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog assisted on MacKinnon’s goal to extend his points streak to a career-high 10 games. But Landeskog left in the second period with a lower-body injury and didn’t return. Bednar had no update after the game.
Red Wings rookie Lucas Raymond went to the dressing room in the second period, but later returned after getting clipped in the right leg by Kurtis MacDermid near the benches.
“It could have been worse for sure,” Blashill said. “I don’t think it’s going to be anything major. It doesn’t mean he won’t be sore. It was just a collision and it was nobody’s fault.”
NOTES: The Avs held a moment of silence for former Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas, who died Thursday at his suburban Atlanta home at the age of 33. ... Bowen Byram (head) remained out for Colorado. ... Tyler Bertuzzi and Marc Staal (COVID-19 protocols) were still missing from Detroit’s lineup. Blashill said Bertuzzi should return on Tuesday. ... It was Blashill’s 48th birthday. ... Toews’ fourth straight multi-point game tied Jeff Brown’s team record for a defenseman set Nov. 12-19, 1988.
Red Wings: Host the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
Avalanche: Home vs. Florida on Sunday night.
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