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Andre Burakovsky must go as the winger had a hat trick in a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Burakovsky has five goals in two games.
The Avalanche (16-7-2) started the night on defense. Florida’s first goal shot came at 12:15. But the Avalanche offense, which had scored in 14 straight periods before Sunday, stalled.
It was a scary start for Jacob McDonald in the second period.
A brutal shoulder-to-chin hit from Florida winger Ryan Lomberg left the Avs defenseman motionless on the ice. McDonald left the game on a stretcher and did not return. The Avalanche later said McDonald was “alert, responsive, and fully mobile” after further testing.
With 22.5 seconds left in the second period, Burakovsky buried a feed from Mikko Rantanen on a power-play chance. It was Rantanen’s 200th NHL assist. Burakovsky made it 2-0 in the third.
Panthers fought back. Joe Thornton and Brandon Montour scored in less than three minutes to tie the game late in the third period. Darcy Kuemper made 31 saves for the Avs.
Burakovsky completed his first career hat trick with a snipe from the high slot later in the third. Burakovsky has 12 goals.