As NHL goalie Roberto Luongo tweeted Saturday night, Nathan MacKinnon is in "arcade mode" for the Avalanche. The Avs' 18-year old rookie was trending nationally on Twitter by the end of the second period of Game 2 of the Avs' first-round playoff series against Minnesota.
Six points through the first five full periods of a playoff career, as MacKinnon had, gains you some attention it turns out. And he got one more assist in the third for his seventh point in his first two postseason games. MacKinnon's exploits led the Avs to a 4-2 victory, giving Colorado a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 3 is Monday night in St. Paul.
The Wild scored a short-handed goal, making it 3-2 with 1:19 left after an empty-net goal for Colorado that would have sealed the game was negated by an offside penalty. Paul Stastny scored an empty-net goal with 14.2 seconds left, with another assist by MacKinnon, his third.
Avs coach Patrick Roy moved MacKinnon back to right wing on a line with Stastny and Gabe Landeskog.
"Our line was clicking tonight, and those guys made my job easier," MacKinnon said.
Added Stastny: "We've felt comfortable playing with each other, and we have a lot of confidence. We're moving our feet, and I think when we're not watching each other, we're working on it together. And a couple of the goals, all three of us had a hand in it. When you're playing with two guys like that, as long as they're moving, I'll find them, and that creates a lot of space."
Overcoming a slow start, the Avs took control after MacKinnon's first career playoff goal at 6:20 of the first period tied the game 1-1. What a goal it was, too.
Coming down the center of the ice with blazing speed, MacKinnon deked to the right and in the process caused Wild defender Jared Spurgeon to fall down trying to make the crossover with his feet. MacKinnon then whistled a wrist shot past Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, the goal coming 2:02 after Wild forward Charlie Coyle scored on Semyon Varlamov.