Mikko Rantanen produced his third hat trick of the season and added an assist for the visiting Colorado Avalanche in a 6-2 win against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday
Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and three assists, Ben Meyers scored twice and Alexandar Georgiev made 21 saves for Colorado (47-24-6, 100 points), which moved back into a tie for first in the Central Division with the Dallas Stars.
The Avalanche, who got two assists from Samuel Girard, have five games remaining. The Stars have four games to go
Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist for the Sharks to become the sixth defenseman in NHL history to log at least 98 points in a season
Steven Lorentz also scored for San Jose (22-40-16, 60 points), which came in on a four-game point streak (3-0-1). Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 15 of 19 shots before he was replaced by James Reimer, who finished with 10 saves on 12 shots.
The Sharks took a 1-0 lead at 15:43 of the first period when Karlsson backhanded the puck between Georgiev's pads for his 23rd goal of the season
Rantanen scored his 50th off a rebound 1:02 later to tie it 1-1.
Rantanen joined Jari Kurri and Teemu Selanne as the only Finnish players to score at least 50 goals in an NHL season.
Rantanen didn't stop there, as the Avalanche forced a turnover and Evan Rodrigues fed Rantanen for a one-timer and a 2-1 lead at 2:32 of the second period
MacKinnon flipped a wrist shot through traffic and into the net to make it 3-1 at 7:19 of the second. Rantanen was also credited with an assist on the goal.
Rantanen redirected MacKinnon's shot while stationed at the far post to complete the hat trick and extend the lead to 4-1 at 8:06. He is just two points shy of his first 100-point NHL season.
Rantanen is the first player for the Avalanche to record three hat tricks in a season since the franchise moved to Denver prior the 1995-96 season
Rantanen couldn't enjoy the moment for long as Lorentz scored 35 seconds later to cut it to 4-2.
Meyers re-established the three-goal lead when he scored at 15:08 of the second to make it 5-2, and he tallied another at 3:12 of the third.
--Field Level Media