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NHL - US Sports: Avalanche focusing on positives

Despite giving up two leads to lose Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round to the St. Louis Blues, forward Nate MacKinnon says the Colorado Avalanche are focused on taking the positives and getting the job of reaching the conference final done.

The Avalanche, 7/5 to win the Stanley Cup, are 3-2 up in the best-of-seven series and 1/8 to eliminate the Blues and get past the second round for the first time since 2001/02 - when they lost to the Detroit Red Wings in seven games in the Conference final.

MacKinnon had four points in Game 5, including a hat-trick with an end-to-end highlight reel goal to put the Avalanche ahead in the final three minutes. The lead was the second Colorado gave up, including a 3-0 advantage.

MacKinnon shining for Avalanche

MacKinnon joint-leads the Avalanche for points in the play-offs with 13 (eight goals, five assists) in nine games which included five goals in a Round 1 sweep of the Nashville Predators.

The current play-off campaign is MacKinnon's sixth with Colorado and he has 82 points (36 goals, 46 assists) in 59 appearances.

With 88 points (32 goals, 56 assists), MacKinnon helped the Avalanche win the Central Division with a 56-19-7 record.

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MacKinnon said to the media: "We got to move on and come back and win Game 6 on the road. It's a fun opportunity for us. Hopefully everything happens for a reason and we've got to go get this done.

"But it should make our team a little harder, a little grittier in these situations. Can't win every series in four and five. They have a great team and we're excited to go have a huge challenge in St. Louis and try to close out a series."

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