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National Hockey League
Colorado 5, New Jersey 2
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 4, 2020
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Referees: Gord Dwyer, Brian Pochmara
Linesmen: Jonny Murray, Libor Suchanek
Attendance: 16514

Mikko Rantanen collected a hat trick Saturday night to lead the visiting Colorado Avalanche to a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils in Newark, N.J.

The Avalanche have won two straight following a three-game losing streak. The Devils had their three-game winning streak and five-game point streak -- both season highs -- snapped.

The hat trick was the second of Rantanen's career and his first since Feb. 7, 2017 against the Montreal Canadiens. Ian Cole and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare also scored for the Avalanche. Goalie Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves.

Blake Coleman and Jesper Boqvist scored in the third period for the Devils. Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood recorded 29 saves.

After a scoreless first period, Rantanen opened the scoring by taking a drop pass from Nathan MacKinnon in the right faceoff circle and firing a shot over Blackwood's glove with 8:37 left in the second.

An Avalanche faceoff win led to Cole's goal with 4:26 remaining. Bellemare won the draw against Kevin Rooney deep in the Devils' zone, and the puck bounced to Vladislav Kamenev, who passed to Cole, whose slap shot sailed past a screened Blackwood.

Another faceoff win, this on the opening faceoff of the third, led to Rantanen's second goal, this time just eight seconds into the period. Rookie defenseman Cale Makar slipped by two defenders along the right boards, then dropped to Rantanen, who deked a defender in the slot and beat Blackwood.

An impressive coast-to-coast effort by Coleman resulted in a short-handed goal that ended the Avalanche's shutout bid less than seven minutes later. A shot by Colorado's J.T. Compher sailed wide of the net to Coleman, who raced up the ice with Nazem Kadri in pursuit and beat Grubauer at 6:36.

The Avalanche scored a valuable insurance goal in controversial fashion with 6:11 left. Blackwood was trying to clear the puck from behind the Devils' net when he was inadvertently tripped by Colorado's Matt Calvert. Bellemare pounced on the loose puck and fired a slap shot into the open net. New Jersey challenged the play, but the goal stood.

The Devils pulled within 4-2 with 1:23 left, when Boqvist scored an extra-attacker, power-play goal. But Rantanen capped the hat trick with an empty-netter with 15.9 seconds remaining.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Colorado   New Jersey
Mikko Rantanen 3 Points Jesper Boqvist 1
Mikko Rantanen 3 Goals Jesper Boqvist 1
Samuel Girard 2 Assists Sami Vatanen 1
N/A Power Play Goals Jesper Boqvist 1
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare 1 Short Handed Goals Blake Coleman 1
Philipp Grubauer .933 Save Percentage Mackenzie Blackwood .879
Philipp Grubauer 28 Saves Mackenzie Blackwood 29
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Colorado 34 5 0-3 2-3 6 24
New Jersey 30 2 1-3 3-3 26 30
Upcoming Games
  • New Jersey will play their next game at home against NY Islanders. The Devils have a W/L % of .375 after a win and .360 after a loss.
  • Colorado will play their next game on the road against NY Islanders. The Avalanche have a W/L % of .625 after a win and .556 after a loss.