Frank Vatrano’s hat trick leads Ducks past Avalanche

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Vatrano collected his third career hat trick, Adam Henrique and Mason McTavish scored 24 seconds apart in the third period and the Anaheim Ducks rallied to beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 on Thursday in Denver.

John Gibson made 41 saves and Cam Fowler had two assists for the Ducks, who won for the third time in four games.

Mikko Rantanen scored twice, Sam Girard had a goal and an assist and Pavel Francouz turned away 27 shots for the Avalanche, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.

Colorado’s Cale Makar had an assist in his return after missing four games due to an undisclosed injury, and Matt Nieto was in the lineup a day after the Avalanche acquired him and Ryan Merkley from the San Jose Sharks.

The Ducks tied the game 3-3 when Henrique roofed a feed to the top of the crease from Troy Terry at 9:42 of the third period, his 18th of the season.

At 10:06, McTavish beat Francouz with a wrister from the top of the left circle to give Anaheim the lead. It was his 10th of the season.

Francouz came off for an extra skater with 2:15 left and the Avalanche had several chances but couldn’t get the tying goal. Vatrano sealed it with his 11th goal of the season at 19:10.

The Avalanche took the early lead when Rantanen poked a loose puck in at 3:56 to make it 1-0.

Vatrano got Anaheim even midway through the first period when he scored on his own rebound at 9:46.

Colorado went back in front early in the second period when Nathan MacKinnon sent a pass through the slot to Girard as he skated down the left side, and Girard beat Gibson at 1:13. It was his fourth goal of the season.

Gibson was called for delay of game when he knocked the net off its moorings and Rantanen made him pay on the ensuing power play. Rantanen’s slap shot beat Gibson high to give the Avalanche a 3-1 lead at 16:09 of the second. It was his 34th goal of the season.

Anaheim answered moments later when Vatrano jammed the puck off Francouz’s skate at 18:37 for his second of the night.

–Field Level Media

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