By STEPHEN WHYNO
AP Hockey Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon made his season debut against the Washington Capitals after being cleared from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. He missed the first two games of the season because he tested positive for the coronavirus. MacKinnon, who is fully vaccinated, had been in protocol since Oct. 12. The three-time MVP finalist did not travel with the team Monday for the start of a three-game road trip. MacKinnon needed to test negative twice to be cleared to play and take a separate flight. Because he is vaccinated, the 26-year-old’s absence was considered a hockey-related injury and he was paid during his time away.