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Landeskog scores 200th goal, Avalanche rout Blues 8-0

MICHAEL KELLY
·3-min read

DENVER (AP) — Gabriel Landeskog scored two goals to reach 200 for his career, helping the Colorado Avalanche rebound from an opening-night loss with an 8-0 rout of the St. Louis Blues on Friday.

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists, Mikko Rantanen scored the 100th goal of his career and added an assist, and Nazem Kadri also had a goal and an assist.

Philipp Grubauer faced just 21 shots in his 12th career shutout and Cale Makar had three assists for Colorado, which went 5 for 7 on the power play.

The Avalanche entered the season with title expectations but had a lackluster effort in a 4-1 loss to St. Louis on Wednesday night. After a scoreless first period, their offense broke out in the second and third.

“There wasn’t much to like about the season opener. We had a good meeting the other day and we got to see how bad we were on Wednesday and we were motivated to come back and make a statement,” Landeskog said. “Power play was a big factor. Before we started scoring the goals we were playing well and playing hard.”

Landeskog got the first goal at 4:03 and his milestone tally 10 minutes later when he cashed in on a pass from Rantanen at 14:34 of the second. Just 2:10 before that, André Burakovsky, who also had an assist, scored for the second straight game.

Rantanen made it 4-0 late in the second with a shot from one knee that beat goalie Jordan Binnington for his 100th goal.

“A hundred goals, it feels good to get that,” Rantanen said. “I wasn’t thinking about it too much but obviously feels good. Can’t deny that. Biggest thing to get the win, but it’s a good bonus.”

Binnington stopped 20 shots before being replaced by Ville Husso to start the third period. Husso made six saves in his NHL debut.

“He was our best player tonight by far. It’s embarrassing what we did in front of him,” St. Louis captain Ryan O’Reilly said of Binnington. “It’s a wakeup call for us. After the first game we got some good bounces, we win, and we think it’s going to be easier. We need to find a way to respond."

Husso stopped his first shot of the night, but Kadri knocked in the rebound 1:13 into the third. MacKinnon and Joonas Donskoi scored 33 seconds apart later in the third, and Devon Toews scored on the power play to complete the blowout.

“It was a pretty lopsided score but it was a tough first period,” MacKinnon said. “I felt like we had to break them down, and we wore on them. It was great to see a lot of different guys start feeling it.”

AROUND THE RINK

Colorado defenseman Sam Girard had two assists. ... F Mike Hoffman made his debut for the Blues ... Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram, the fourth overall pick in the 2019 draft, will skate Saturday. Byram had to wait seven days to join the team after arriving from Canada, where he played in the world junior championship tournament.

BORTUZZO INJURED

St. Louis defenseman Robert Bortuzzo left the game in the first period after taking a hit from Colorado’s Valeri Nichuskin. Blues coach Craig Berube said the hit should warrant a review by the NHL office.

“There should be,” he said. “It’s a hit from behind to the head.”

JOHNSON CLOSER

Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson is expected to skate Saturday. Johnson missed the short training camp and the first two games while recovering from COVID-19.

UP NEXT

Blues: Return home to host San Jose for two games starting Monday.

Avalanche: At the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday to begin a four-game swing through Southern California.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports