Duchene gets 10th goal, Avalanche beat Bruins 4-2
BOSTON (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche jumped ahead early and got yet another win in Boston — this time to end a recent skid.
Matt Duchene scored his 10th goal and John Mitchell got his first, lifting the Avalanche over the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Thursday night.
The Avs had lost four straight and five of six, but again came out winners in Boston, where they’ve won 10 times in their last 11 visits.
“We were off to a good start in the first period. We got a couple quick ones and we rode that,” said Nathan MacKinnon, whose short-handed goal 12:57 into the game put Colorado up 2-0.
The last time the Avs lost a game in Boston was March 30, 1998, when MacKinnon was just 2 years old.
“I had no idea. I know we’ve been hot here my first three years,” MacKinnon said. “That’s cool.”
Matt Duchene, John Mitchell and Carl Soderberg also scored for the Avs. Duchene’s goal 5:30 into the game was the first of three unassisted tallies for Colorado, which shut down Boston in the third period after David Pastrnak scored twice in the second to pull the Bruins within 3-2.
The Avs hadn’t won since beating Columbus 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 21.
“We found a way to score first, which was nice,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “We haven’t done that much lately, especially on this losing streak.”
Boston, coming off an overtime loss the night before at Washington, ended a streak of six straight games with a point. The Bruins are 4-1-2 in their last seven.
Anton Khudobin had 18 saves for Boston, which fell behind 3-0 for the second straight night. The Bruins rallied Wednesday with three unanswered goals to force overtime before the Capitals won it 4-3. The Bruins didn’t seem to have the energy for another comeback Thursday, getting just eight shots on goal in the third period.
“Until you can find your legs, you’ve got to be smart, and we weren’t,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “We gave up some soft goals and certainly dug ourselves a hole.”
Pastrnak’s goals 1:20 apart in the second period briefly revived Boston, but the Bruins didn’t score again despite outshooting Colorado 31-22 for the game.
Calvin Pickard made 29 saves for the Avs.
“I think the second period we could have tidied it up a little bit. We lost some momentum,” Duchene said. “I think there is still lots of room for improvement but a start like that — you get out to a 3-0 lead — it’s pretty tough to blow that. You’ve got to really play poorly and we played really solid in the third and especially in the first.”
Colorado led 2-0 after the first, then Mitchell made it 3-0 after forcing a turnover at the Colorado blue line and taking it the other way for a wrist shot that beat Khudobin on the stick side.
It was only the 11th shot of the game for the Avalanche, who took an early lead on Duchene’s 10th goal of the season and went up 2-0 when MacKinnon scored at 12:57.
Pastrnak got Boston on the board with a breakaway goal just after getting out of the penalty box, then struck again on a slap shot from above the circles, the 18th goal of the season for Boston’s 20-year old rising star.
NOTES: Avs RW Jarome Iginla played in his 1,499th career game, tying Mike Modano for 16th on the NHL career list. ... Colorado LW Gabriel Landeskog’s return from a lower-body injury was delayed by an illness. Ladeskog missed his 10th straight game. ...Pastrnak and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby are tied for the NHL lead in goals. ... Pastrnak extended his points streak to five straight games, scoring five goals and getting two assists during the span. ... Boston fell to 1-4 this season in the second of back-to-back games.
Avalanche: Travel to Montreal for a game Saturday night.
Bruins: Host the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.