Nathan McKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche were too much for Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.
McKinon had four points (one goal, three assists), the right wing Mikko Rantanen had two assists and a left wing Gabriel Landeskog scored a goal and had the help to help Lavina defeat the Penguins 6-3 at Pepsi Center. It was the sixth direct win of Colorado and extended the Avalanche Series to nine matches (8-0-1).
MacKinnon and Rantanen have expanded their simultaneous multi-paid gaming bands to six. They are the fifth set of team-mates in the past 30 years to have simultaneous strips of at least six points in at least six matches, and the first by Alexander Mogily and Pat LaFontain from Buffalo Sabers (six matches) from December 31, 1992 to January 10, 1993.
Video: PIT @ ROCK: Wilson hits the black mine at McKinon
Rantane leads the NHL with 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists), one before 41 points to McKinon (18 goals, 23 assists). They are the sixth teammate of the past 20 years to be the first players to score 40 points in each season.
Avalanche (15-6-4) led 3-0 in front of Crosby to tie the game by reaching three goals in the span of 5:35, starting at 19:08 in the second period. It was the 11th row of the NHL hat-trick for Crosby and the first since he scored three goals against Florida Panthers on March 19, 2017. Mario Lemjo (40) and Evgeni Malkin (12) are the only players in the history of the penguins with more hat-tricks than Crosby.
Matthews returns from injury, the authority of Maple Leafs
Austin Matthews did not show signs of 'rust' on his return to Toronto Javor Leafs after the missing 14 matches with a shoulder injury, scoring two goals and helping one John Tavares to help Maple Leafs (18-8-0) defeat San Jose AIKS 5-3 for their sixth consecutive victory at the Scotiabank Arena.
Video: SJS @ TOR: Matthews sets Tavares for PPG in return
The third-year center has won its eighth multi-point game in 12 games this season. He is the sixth player from 2005-06 to have at least eight multi-point games in the first 12 games of the season, and the first from the center of Washington Capitals Nicklas Backstrom there were eight in 2011-12. The only player in the history of the NHL with more points in each of the first 12 matches since the start of the season was Lemyo with the Penguins in 1992-93.
Toronto forward Mitchell Marner he had his second first three-run game. He is second in the NHL with 30 assists, and the second player in the history of Maple Leafs reached 30 assists in the first 26 games in Toronto, joining Doug Gilmor in 1992-93.
Tavares scored two goals, giving him 17 in 26 games. The only players in Toronto, outside the inaugural NHL season, who needed fewer games to score 17 goals, were Culey Wilson in 1919-20 (20 goals in 23 games), Guy Stewart in 1942-43 (18 goals in 20 games) and Dave Andrejchuk in 1992-93 (17 goals in 17 matches).
Rats early, late to defeat Panthers
Anaheim Ducks defender Josh Manson scored 15 seconds in the first period and ahead Nick Richie won the match with a goal 1:28 remaining in the third to give Anaheim victory 3-2 against Panthers at the BB & T center. Anaheim won four of the last five (4-1-0).
Manson's goal was the second fastest since the beginning of the Dax event; Paul Carrie scored eight seconds in Anaheim's game in Colorado on 9 March 1997. Manson is the eighth player who scored in the first 20 seconds of the match this season.
Video: ANA @ FLA: Manson hits a point for early leadership
Ryby's winner of the game was the 13th goal in the last minute of the regular season this season and the first of the Ducks.
Subsequent stripes continue
Panthers defender Keith Jandle, Maple Leafs forward Patrick Marlo and penguins ahead Phil Kessel, who have the first three active sequential stripes, all continued their races.
Jandle was helped while slipping in his 738th consecutive game, transferring the defender to St. Louis Blues Jay Buumer for the sixth longest streak in NHL history. He is 38 games shy of Craig Ramsey, who is fifth with 776 consecutive matches.
Video: ANA @ FLA: Dadon PPG networks for redirecting forward
Marlo played in his 732th consecutive game, eighth on the list of all time. His second goal against the team he played for the first 19 seasons of his career in the NHL made him 25th place against all 31 NHL titles.
Kessel skated in its 716th consecutive game, the ninth all-time.