MacKinnon fell behind the Panthers’ net before skating to the bench on his own. After taking a seat next to his teammates, he soon walked down the tunnel to Colorado’s locker room and did not return.
After the loss, Colorado coach Jared Bednar told reporters that MacKinnon left the bench so that the athletic training staff could tend to his chin, but had no further details. The Avalanche will next take on the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
With or without MacKinnon, the Avalanche struggled on Saturday. Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves in his third shutout of the season, and the Panthers received goals from Carter Verhaeghe, Sam Reinhart, Eetu Luostarinen and Aleksander Barkov in the route.
Barkov scored his first goal since Dec. 16, snapping an 18-game drought. He notched 19 assists in that span, and then added two more on Saturday night.
MacKinnon, the league’s second-leading scorer with 85 points entering play Saturday, had one shot on net and two blocks in his 18:19 on the ice. He was held off the scoresheet for the third straight game after going pointless in just one game since Nov. 18.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.