Mikko Rantanen extends point streak to 10 games with four more as Avs beat Flames 6-2

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CALGARY, Alberta — Mikko Rantanen had two goals and two assists, extending his point streak to a career-best 10 games and leading the Colorado Avalanche to a 6-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

Valeri Nichushkin had a goal and two assists while Nathan MacKinnon and Josh Manson scored along with Casey Mittelstadt, who got his first Colorado goal since being acquired at the trade deadline.

MacKinnon, who extended his point streak to 13 games, added an assist and has an NHL-leading 113 points, two better than his previous career high from last season.

“It’s just who he is,” said Avs coach Jared Bednar. “The drive to be the best player he can be, keep improving his game in little areas and whether it’s just a fraction in one area that helps him get better and a fraction in another one, he’s constantly looking to improve.”

The franchise record is 139 points set by Peter Stastny in 1981-82, while the franchise was based in Quebec. MacKinnon is on pace for 138.

“If he keeps playing like he has, and I have no doubt he will, I think it’s a good chance,” said Rantanen, asked if his linemate can break the record.

The Avs pulled even with idle Winnipeg for second in the tight Central Division race, two points behind Dallas. The Jets have two games in hand on Colorado and three on the Stars.

Daniil Miromanov scored his first goal with Calgary, and Walker Duehr had the other for the Flames, who have been outscored 18-5 on a three-game losing streak.

On the heels of blowout losses to Florida and Carolina on the weekend, the Flames have lost three games in a row by a combined score of 18-5.

“We got three good lessons here, simple as that,” said Flames captain Mikael Backlund. “Everyone in this room’s gotta look at himself and be better.”

Colorado rookie goalie Justus Annunen, who was coming off consecutive shutouts, made 25 saves to improve to 4-2-1.

Dan Vladar gave up six goals on 35 shots and was pulled after allowing five in the second period, which the Flames entered with a 2-1 lead. Rookie Dustin Wolf stopped all three Colorado shots in the third.

Manson pulled the Avs even at 4:52 of the second, with MacKinnon’s 41st goal putting them ahead less than a minute later on a sharp-angle shot into a top corner of the net on a cross-ice pass from Nichushkin.

A three-goal flurry in three minutes was capped by Nichushkin, who took a cross-ice feed from Rantanen for his 24th goal and a 4-2 lead. Of Rantanen’s 18 points on his 10-game scoring streak, 14 are assists.

The 15th goal of the season for Mittelstadt, who came from Buffalo, and Rantanen’s 33rd came about five minutes apart late in the second to complete the scoring.

Mittelstadt said being teammates with MacKinnon and Rantanen sure beats playing against them.

“When you’re playing against (MacKinnon) or even watching him, it might make you a little angry just wondering how he does it,” said Mittelstadt. “Mikko is the most underrated player in the league. Just the plays he and Nate make together are crazy. I’m happy to be on their side.”

UP NEXT

Avalanche: At Vancouver on Wednesday.

Flames: Vegas at home Thursday.

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

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