Avalanche beat the Penguins to win the No. 50 spot and advance to the playoffs.

Pittsburgh – Nathan McKinnon scored twice in Tuesday night’s 6-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins to seal the Colorado Avalanche play-off spot.

This is the fifth straight play-off berth for the Avs, who have also become the first NHL team to win 50 this season and have picked up nine wins in 11 games.

McKinnon scored his 23rd and 24th goals of the season, while Jetty Comfar scored his 14th goal of the year. Goals were scored by Darren Helm, Josh Manson and Arturi Lehkonen. Darcy Kumper won her 33rd game and stopped 41 shots.

Brian Rust, Evan Rodriguez, Jake Gwenzel and Mike Matheson all scored for the Penguins, but lost for the second time against Colorado. Avalanche beat Pittsburgh 3-2 in Denver on Saturday. Tristan Jerry has made 26 saves for Pittsburgh, losing five of his last seven games.

Pittsburgh and Colorado exchanged goals at 5:30 in the first half of the game. McKinnon’s centering pass hits Rust’s stick and overtakes Jerry. Mikko Rantanen continues a six-game point streak with assists in his 400th NHL game (he has 400 career points).

Rusty responded in favor of Pittsburgh, and set a new career-high point when he converted a rebound behind Quamper to tie the game.

Colorado opened the 3-1 lead with a pair of second-period goals scored at 2:07. Comper scored on a rebound in the slot and McKinnon counterfeited the second of the game with an innocent-looking wrist shot from the left point.

Rodriguez scored the second goal in 11 games at 17:43, trailing Pittsburgh 3-2 to enter the third game.

Colorado regained its multigole lead when Mansion’s point shot defeated Jerry to finish third at just 1:01. Manson’s goal is the 57th goal of a Colorado defender, the highest in the NHL Blueline since the 2007-2008 Chicago Blackhawks scored 59 goals.

The best in the league

Colorado leads the league with 106 points and holds the third 50-win season in franchise history.

The Avalanche have 102 League-High third-period goals and they are 38-0-3 in games where they score four or more times.

Last month, Avalanche became the fourth NHL team in 25 years to reach 100-points in 67 games or less, the fastest mark in franchise history.

Colorado’s 22-10-3 road record tops the Western Conference.

Milestone of penguins

Sydney Crosby remains three points shy of 1,400 for his career and is behind Curry Curry for the 22nd point in NHL history. He wants to be the seventh-fastest player to reach 1,400 points in his career.

Gwenzel scored the 154th goal of his career, surpassing Joe Mullen for the second-highest goal behind Kevin Stevens, the only player of American descent in team history.

Jeff Carter assisted Gwenzel’s goal, becoming the 20th most active player with 800 NHL points. Evgeny Malkin, who also assisted, was shy of helping to become the 57th player in NHL history to record 700 assists.

Friend and foe

McKinnon got along well with good friend and offseason workout partner Sidney Crosby and her penguins.

Both were drafted to Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia, and No. 1 overall, Crossby in 2005 and McKinnon in 2013.

Missing Fire Power

Already without captain Gabriel Landscog (knee surgery) and top scorer Nazem Qadri (upper body) was AVS forward Valerie Nichushkin on Tuesday. Nichushkin, who was out with a non-covid-related illness, has 19 goals and 40 points from 51 games.

Coming next

Snowfall: Continue the three-game trip to Winnipeg on Friday.

Penguin: Travels to face the New York Rangers on Thursday.

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