MacKinnon, Compher score 2 apiece, Avs beat Sabres 6-4

Dec 1, 2022, 5:05 AM | Updated: 9:01 pm
Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher (37) celebrates his second goal against the Buffalo Sabre...

Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher (37) celebrates his second goal against the Buffalo Sabres, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

              Buffalo Sabres right wing JJ Peterka (77) celebrates his goal with center Dylan Cozens (24) during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
            
              Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher (37) celebrates after his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
            
              Buffalo Sabres right wing Jack Quinn (22) is stopped by Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
            
              Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens (24) and Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) collide behind the net during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
            
              Buffalo Sabres right wing Alex Tuch (89) looks to tip the puck past Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
            
              Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (1) stops Colorado Avalanche left wing Artturi Lehkonen (62) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
            
              Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher (37) celebrates a goal by left wing Artturi Lehkonen (62) during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
            
              Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher (37) celebrates his second goal against the Buffalo Sabres, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher scored two goals apiece to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 6-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

MacKinnon added three assists and Compher had two helpers for the Avalanche, who won for the fifth time in seven games. Artturi Lehkonen and Mikko Rantanen also scored for Colorado, and Alexandar Georgiev made 24 saves.

“He’s the leader for us every night and drives the bus, and he did it again tonight,” Compher said about MacKinnon. “He doesn’t always get the goals, but it was nice to see him get a few tonight.”

Tage Thompson scored his 15th goal of the season and Alex Tuch, JJ Peterka and Dylan Cozens also scored for the Sabres, who have lost three of four. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 28 shots.

Buffalo led 2-1 after the first period but Colorado went ahead for good when it scored twice during a 5-on-3 power play midway through the second period. MacKinnon made it 2-2 and Lehkonen scored 49 seconds later. MacKinnon added his second goal 2:04 after that to put the Avalanche ahead 4-2.

“It was a big moment in the game and that was the best our power play’s looked all year, in (those) 45 seconds,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “We were getting a scoring chance on that every 10 seconds until it went in the net.”

Cozens’ power-play goal cut the lead to 4-3 with 5:55 left in the second, but Compher’s second goal with 2:44 left in the period made it 5-3.

“I know (Cozens) is only 21, but he looks like a veteran playing with two younger guys,” Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson said. “I think he’s really taken the next step and it’s fun to watch.”

Tuch’s goal seven seconds into the third period cut the Avalanche’s lead to 5-4. The goal was his 200th NHL point.

MacKinnon foiled a breakaway attempt by former Avalanche forward Tyson Jost with 1:20 left in the game.

“Great conscience to his game on the checking side of things, involved that way, really good awareness of what they were trying to do off the rush and sort of nullify that and then to be able to answer the way he did,” Bednar said.

Rantanen scored into an empty net, his 14th, with 35 seconds remaining.

Compher scored the game’s first goal, but Buffalo rallied with goals by Peterka and Thompson in the first period.

“Win or lose, you’ve got to take something from every game, and there were things we didn’t like from last game and parts we did better tonight,” Compher said. “Even though we won tonight, we still have things we can work on.”

GAME 300 FOR DAHLIN

Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin played in his 300th game. Dahlin has the second-most points (186) through 300 games for a defenseman selected with the No. 1 pick in the draft. He trails only Denis Potvin, who had 289 points.

MACKINNON CLIMBS FRANCHISE LEADERBOARD

MacKinnon surpassed teammate Gabriel Landeskog for sixth on the franchise goal list with 250, and he passed Milan Hejduk for fifth on the franchise assist list with 431.

UP NEXT

Avalanche: At Boston on Saturday night, the third game of a four-game trip.

Sabres: Host San Jose on Sunday night.

___

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MacKinnon, Compher score 2 apiece, Avs beat Sabres 6-4