Fleischmann’s Hat Trick Lifts Avs’ Over Blackhawks
CHICAGO (AP) – Tomas Fleischmann scored three times, including back-to-back, power-play goals in the third period, to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.
Colorado stretched its winning streak to four and gave the Blackhawks their ninth regulation loss at home. Chicago had only eight last season before winning the Stanley Cup.
Greg Mauldin gave Colorado a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Brian Bickell tied it in the second and Jonathan Toews and Troy Brouwer added goals in the third for Chicago.
Fleischmann, traded to Colorado from Washington last month, scored his first two goals late in each portion of a four-minute, high-sticking penalty against Jordan Hendry. The first goal, from the left doorstep, beat sprawled goalie Corey Crawford and broke a 1-1 tie.
Fleischmann scored again 1:54 later, putting in a rebound of Matt Duchene’s shot to give the Avalanche a two-goal lead.
Fleischmann completed his first career hat trick with 5:18 remaining, beating Crawford from the slot. His ninth goal of the season answered a goal by Toews five minutes earlier.
Brouwer finished the scoring with just over one second left in the game.
Colorado opened the scoring on Mauldin’s goal with just over six minutes left in the first period. He raced down the left side into the slot and put Daniel Winnik’s pass by Crawford.
The lead held up only until 1:14 of the second, when Bickell skated around a pair of Avalanche players and beat Craig Anderson over the glove hand with a hard wrist shot.
In contrast to Monday’s game in Denver, which Colorado won 7-5, the rematch was a more close-checking game until Fleischmann broke out. The Blackhawks held Colorado to 12 shots in the first two periods and 23 overall.
Injury-riddled Chicago lost forward Viktor Stalberg with seven minutes left in the second period when he sustained an undisclosed upper body injury when he was checked into the boards by Colorado’s Ryan O’Byrne.
NOTES: Colorado’s Milan Hejduk missed his third straight game (groin). Peter Mueller (head), T.J. Galardi (broken wrist), Kyle Cuminsky (head), Kyle Quincey (shoulder) and Chris Stewart (hand) were also sidelined. Chicago forward Patrick Kane practiced Wednesday and said he might play Friday against Detroit. He sprained his left ankle on Dec. 7, and was expected to be out for up to three weeks, but has missed only four games. There’s no return date for winger Marian Hossa (lower body), out for seven games, or for forward Fernando Pisani (upper body). The Blackhawks are 8-9 at home this season after going 29-8-4 there last season.
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