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Avalanche's young core built for success beyond this season

6 3 0

DENVER – The rush of a crucial 3-0 win fueling his post-game excitement, Nathan MacKinnon was speaking almost as quickly as he skates.

With his game-winning goal the subject of the moment, he wanted to deflect praise to the new kid in town, Cale Makar.

"He’s got six points in seven games," started MacKinnon before being corrected.

"Oh sorry, five points? Oh, he sucks then."

Laughter ensued.

Less than three weeks into Makar’s arrival, an obvious comfort level has been established between the 20-year-old college sensation and the rest of the talented leaders of these Avs.

The group’s chemistry was perfectly illustrated midway through Game 4 when all five Avs skaters contributed significantly to MacKinnon’s goal. Those on the ice included captain Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, Samuel Girard, Makar and MacKinnon, who will continue to be the nucleus of Joe Sakic’s Avalanche for many years to come.

The series-tying goal gave a delicious snapshot of what lies ahead for this talented young team.

The play started with Girard making a crafty keep-in at the blue line, using his skate to corral a hard pass before slapping the bouncing puck out of the air to........

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