In Nathan MacKinnon’s six-game injury absence, the Avalanche is highly thankful for Nazem Kadri and Cale Makar.
The Avs’ second-line center and top defenseman have both been on a scoring spree that even MacKinnon — a perennial NHL All-Star and three-time Hart Trophy finalist — would be proud of.
In the Avs’ 5-2 victory over the visiting Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, Kadri had a goal and an assist for his fifth consecutive multi-point game to extend his career-long points streak to 10 games. Makar produced his sixth goal and eighth point in four games and was in the position to become just the second NHL defenseman to produce multiple-goal games in three consecutive contests.
Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey did just that from Feb. 14-19, 1986. Makar came one goal shy against the Ducks of matching the feat.
The Ball Arena crowd of 16,343 saw the Avalanche score five consecutive goals in extending its NHL-best winning streak to six games and collectively celebrate the 36 goals the team has scored in MacKinnon’s absence (6.0 average).
“I think that’s just everybody realizing that we’re missing one of the game’s best players, and everybody else is stepping up,” Avs captain Gabe Landeskog said. “Having said that, we’re really trying to focus on our game without the puck, in our tracking and our reloads, gaps in the neutral zone or defensive game. That’s kind of where our offense starts, shutting other…