The Colorado Avalanche (40-25-8) snapped a tie with Anaheim for the top spot in the Western Conference wild-card race and moved within two points of Minnesota for third place in the Central Division.
“It’s crunch time and I think, not just myself, but everyone is playing really well,” said MacKinnon, who has 13 goals and 13 assists during his streak. “We’re finding our gear and Varly has been really good, too. If you don’t have goaltending, you’re not going to win in this league, obviously. He’s been awesome.”
Chicago (30-35-9) lost for the sixth time in seven games. Defenceman Brent Seabrook scored his fifth goal of the season for the Blackhawks, and Anton Forsberg made 35 stops in his first start since he was pulled in the first period of Thursday night’s 6-2 loss at Winnipeg.
The last-place Blackhawks were eliminated from post-season contention with the loss. They had made the playoffs for nine straight seasons, winning three Stanley Cups.
“We had a disappointing second half to the season, to say the least,” star forward Patrick Kane said. “It seemed like a lot of the games throughout the year went the way they did tonight: We score first and give up one, lose momentum and can’t regain it. Disappointing season? Yep.”