Avalanche bury Predators in Stanley Cup

Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche seen here during game two of a Stanley Cup playoff series against Nashville Predators; MacKinnon scored twice in game three

Los Angeles (AFP) – Nathan MacKinnon scored twice as Colorado hit back to beat Nashville 5-3 in game three of their Stanley Cup playoff series on Monday.

The Avalanche were desperate for victory after the Predators won the first two games of the series to raise the prospect of a sweep.

Colorado had endured a 12-game losing streak to last year’s Stanley Cup finalists stretching back to 2016.

But the Avalanche were set on their way to a deserved win after a deadly display of finishing in the first period.

Blake Comeau, Gabriel Bourque and MacKinnon all scored to put Colorado 3-0 ahead.

MacKinnon grabbed his second at the start of the second period to leave Colorado in complete control at 4-0.

Ryan Johansen pulled one back for Nashville to make it 4-1, and there was fleeting hope of a comeback when Colton Sissons scored the Predators second.

Gabriel Landeskog slammed the door on Nashville though with Colorado’s fifth of the night, helping to seal a win which gives the Avalanche hope of levelling the series in game four in Denver on Wednesday.

In other games on Monday, San Jose moved to the brink of a series sweep over the Anaheim Ducks, winning 8-1 to take a 3-0 lead.

In the Eastern Conference, two goals from Patrick Marleau helped the Toronto Maple Leafs score a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins. The Bruins lead the series 2-1 heading into game four.

The New Jersey Devils also pulled a game back in their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, winning 5-2 in Newark. Tampa Bay lead the series 2-1.