DENVER (AP) Logan O’Connor scored short-handed for the third straight game, one of five Colorado goals in the second period, Arturri Lehkonen had a goal and two assists, and the Avalanche beat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-4 on Saturday night.
Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Ryan Johansen and Fredrik Olofsson also scored and Alexander Georgiev made 23 saves for Colorado, which has started the season 5-0 for the first time in four years.
“We’ve done a good job to start the year,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “I’m happy with the results but I know it’s nowhere near as good as we can play.”
O’Connor became the seventh player to score short-handed in at least three consecutive games and tied Joe Sakic’s franchise record set in 1998. Dave Reid had short-handed goals in four straight games for Toronto in 1990.
“It’s always nice to score short-handed, especially consecutively,” O’Connor said.
Four of the Avalanche’s six goals came on special teams and they were 3 for 5 on the power play.
“When you’ve giving up two, three power-play goals a game then you’re obviously behind,” Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook said. “You give that team four or five goals it’s not going to look good for you.”
O’Connor’s goal on the penalty-kill gave Colorado a 2-1 lead at 1:57 of a wild second period. Brent Burns and Michael Bunting scored 1:25 apart midway through the period to give Carolina a 3-2 lead but the Avalanche offense took over for the final eight minutes.
Olofsson, Lehkonen and MacKinnon scored in a 3:36 span to put Colorado in front 5-3 and Rantanen added a power-play goal at 19:35 to cap the five-goal period.
“We got a little sloppy for a little bit but give Carolina credit - great hockey team,” said Ryan Johansen, who scored in the final seconds of the first period. “They made some plays and then I we felt like we turned it up and took over the game.”
Jesper Kotkaniemi and Jaccob Slavin also scored goals, Stefan Noesen had two assists and Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 22 shots for the Hurricanes, who are 2-3 on their six-game road trip that wraps up at Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.
“We’ve got to regroup,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We’re scoring enough goals, we just can’t stop anything from going in our net.”
PERFECT NO MORE
Colorado didn’t give up a power-play goal through the first four games and killed off the Hurricanes’ first two chances to extend its streak to 19. Burns ended the streak with his goal midway through the second.
The Avalanche need one more win to match the 2013-14 team for the best start since the team moved to Colorado before the 1995-96 season. The 1985-86 Quebec Nordiques started 7-0-0, tops in franchise history.
Carolina center Sebastian Aho missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury while goaltender Frederik Anderson was out for the second consecutive game due to precautionary reasons.
Hurricanes: At Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.
Avalanche: At New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
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