Home U.S NHL playoffs: Gabriel Landeskog's Gordie Howe hat trick inspires Avalanche; Hurricanes' crowd...

NHL playoffs: Gabriel Landeskog's Gordie Howe hat trick inspires Avalanche; Hurricanes' crowd 'crazy'

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If there were any concerns about the health of Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon after he sat out of the final two regular-season games with an injury, he answered quickly with two goals and an assist in a 4-1 victory in Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues.

He and top-line wingers Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen combined for eight points and 16 shots of the 50 shots against St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington.

“He’s a threat every time he’s on the ice,” Landeskog said of MacKinnon in a postgame interview. “I would expect nothing else from Nate.”

Landeskog, the team captain, had a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, fight), taking on Brayden Schenn after the Blues player’s hit on Rantanen in the first period.

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