NEWARK, N.J. — The 2020 undefeated Avalanche opened the second half of its season Saturday night with its 25th victory in its 42nd game, defeating the New Jersey Devils 5-2 at the Prudential Center. Colorado got a hat trick from winger Mikko Rantanen — the final one on an empty net with eight seconds remaining — and one goal each from defenseman Ian Cole and center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, plus another multiple-point performance from all-star center Nathan MacKinnon (two assists), who is now a point shy of leading the NHL in scoring. Goalie Philipp Grubauer had a 16-save shutout through two periods and finished with 28 saves. “Good competitiveness. I thought we played with some good pace and had all four lines involved,” said Avs coach Jared Bednar, whose team is 2-0 in the new year. “Got some good saves from Gruby. … Pretty good all-around effort from our guys.”RELATED: Cale Makar and UMass converge in Denver Following a late surge by the Devils, who scored a shorthanded goal to get within 3-1, Bellemare scored a controversial shorthanded goal after teammate Matt Calvert collided with Mackenzie Blackwood to take the goalie out of the play. New Jersey challenged the play for goaltending… Read full this story
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