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Rookie MacKinnon has Avs in thick of playoff race


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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon squirmed a bit in front of his locker and tugged on the brim of his Colorado Avalanche ball cap, a little uncomfortable with any sort of comparison to the Great One.

The rookie forward almost apologized for breaking one of Wayne Gretzky's records Thursday in Detroit. With his assist on Andre Benoit's winning goal in overtime, MacKinnon now has a point in 13 straight games, the most by an 18-year-old NHL player. That surpassed Gretzky's mark of 12 in 1979-80.

The soft-spoken teenager said it was "pretty cool."

He suddenly chuckled, before adding, "It's the only record (of Gretzky's) that I'll break."

MacKinnon and the Avalanche host Central Division-leading St. Louis on Saturday, with the Avs just three points behind.

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PAT GRAHAM

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