MacKinnon unfazed by goal-scoring drought: 'No time for doubt'

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Colorado Avalanche phenom Nathan MacKinnon has been explosive in the playoffs, but he's yet to score a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final.

Despite the untimely drought, the 26-year-old is staying even-keeled.

"Obviously, I want to score goals, but I have to do my job out there, play really good defense, create for my linemates, forecheck, every little thing, and stay aggressive and shoot the puck," MacKinnon told reporters after the Avalanche's 6-2 loss Monday. "I feel like they'll go in. I just have to trust myself, that's all I can really do at this point. No time for doubt."

The talented star has still been noticeable against the Bolts - he's logged two helpers, and the Avalanche have controlled 72.3% of the shot attempts, 68.7% of the expected goals, and 61.1% of the high-danger chances in the series with him on the ice at five-on-five, according to Natural Stat Trick.

MacKinnon didn't score in four straight games during the Avalanche's second-round clash against the St. Louis Blues, but he broke that slump with a hat trick in Game 5.

Teammate Mikko Rantanen went through a dry spell of his own earlier this postseason, scoring just one empty-netter through the first 10 games of the playoffs. He then produced four goals in four games against the Edmonton Oilers.

When asked if he had any advice for MacKinnon, Rantanen didn't think the three-time Hart Trophy finalist needed it.

"I think he's a good enough player, he knows what to do," Rantanen said. "He's playing well, he's creating chances for other guys, and he's had some chances, too, in all the three games.

"I think we've all been there. ... Everybody's gotta stay with it, you can't be frustrated at this time of year."

The Lightning got themselves back into the series with a win in Game 3, but MacKinnon said the Avalanche never thought taking down the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions would be easy.

"It's the Stanley Cup Final. We're not expecting a sweep," he said, according to ESPN's Kristen Shilton. "This is fun. This is awesome. Good or bad, we're not going to trade our spot with anyone. ... We knew they were too proud to go away. We still feel good. We feel good about our team - top to bottom."

MacKinnon has 20 points in 17 games in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Puck drops on Game 4 at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

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MacKinnon unfazed by goal-scoring drought: 'No time for doubt'
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