March 1st, 2024

MacKinnon’s five points, O’Connor’s hat trick lead Avalanche past Flyers

By Aaron Bracy, The Associated Press on January 20, 2024.

Philadelphia Flyers' goaltender Carter Hart is unable to make a save on a goal scored by Colorado Avalanche's Logan O'Connor during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and three assists, Logan O’Connor recorded a hat trick and the Colorado Avalanche held on to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4 on Saturday.

Cole Makar recorded his 300th career point, Mikko Rantanen scored twice and Ross Colton added three assists for the Avalanche, who ended a five-game road trip with a 3-2 record. Colorado entered in second place in the West’s Central Division, one point behind first-place Winnipeg.

Cam Atkinson had a goal and two assists for Philadelphia, which had won five in a row. Travis Konecny, Joel Farabee and Tyson Foerster also scored for the Flyers. Coach John Tortorella replaced goalie Carter Hart with Sam Ersson to start the third period after Hart gave up five goals on 15 shots.

MacKinnon’s second goal, on a long wrist shot that went off Hart’s blocker, made it 5-2 with 2:55 left in the second period.

The Flyers seemed to gain a boost from the change in net, as Foerster ripped a wrist shot past Colorado goalie Alexandar Georgiev 5:26 into the third. Atkinson then scored on a deflection of Rasmus Ristolainen’s shot from long range to pull Philadelphia within 5-4 with 11:49 to play.

Georgiev made 34 saves.

Rantanen netted his second on a power play with 7:37 remaining to make it 6-4. Makar assisted on the goal to reach 300 points in his 280th career game. Only Hall of Famer Bobby Orr got to 300 points faster for defensemen, doing it in 279 games.

O’Connor shot into an empty net with 20.6 seconds to play after a pass from MacKinnon.

Flyers forward Owen Tippett, who scored a highlight-reel goal in Philadelphia’s 5-1 win over Dallas on Thursday, did not return after crashing hard into the boards and limping to the bench 1 1/2 minutes into the third period.

MacKinnon notched his first goal of the game 43 seconds into the second period, getting in all alone on Hart after a setup from Miles Wood and shooting past Hart’s glove side.

Rantanen made it 2-0 with 1:24 left in the first when he fired a one-timer from the right circle after a beautiful, cross-ice setup from MacKinnon just after the expiration of an Avalanche power play.

MacKinnon upped his team-leading points total to 78 while remaining tied for tops on the club in goals with Rantanen. Each has scored 26.

Morgan Frost had a pair of assists for Philadelphia.

UP NEXT

Avalanche: Host Washington on Wednesday night.

Flyers: Host Ottawa on Sunday.

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

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