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Nathan MacKinnon extends streak, breaks Wayne Gretzky's record

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

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No 18-year-old has ever done what Nathan MacKinnon has this season in the history of the NHL. MacKinnon tallied an assist with just 32 seconds remaining in overtime to help give the Avalanche a win over the Detroit Red Wings and make history in the process.

The rookie extended his point streak to 13 games. It is the longest such streak by a player of his age, breaking the record previously held by some fella named Wayne Gretzky, who had points in 12 straight games in 1979-80. During the streak, the native of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, has five goals and 13 assists.

It was a wonderful assist as well, as MacKinnon made a great feed from below the goal line to Andre Benoit who was sneaking in from the point. Benoit had an easy shot thanks to the swift feed from last year's No. 1 overall pick. If Benoit didn't convert, the game likely ends in a shootout and MacKinnon's streak ends with him "only" tied with Gretzky.

It seems as though MacKinnon will run away with the Calder Memorial Trophy this year as the league's top rookie. Even as the 2013 No. 1 overall pick, he's probably been better than advertised. Did anyone think he was going to break a record held by No. 99?

MacKinnon now has 22 goals and 29 assists, with his 51 points putting him among the league's top 30 scorers. He has 12 more points than the next closest rookie -- Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning -- and ranks third overall on the upstart Avs.

MacKinnon, in stereotypical hockey fashion, downplayed his record-breaking performance.

"It's pretty cool. I want to be as consistent as possible. He [Gretzky] probably doubled my point total in those games," MacKinnon said after the game.

He's predictably modest, but doing something one better than the Great One in anything is pretty darn cool.

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