Avalanche Hand Hawks Their 6th Straight Loss, 5-2
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DENVER (AP) — Gabriel Landeskog broke a tie 38 seconds into the third period and David Jones added two goals, helping the Colorado Avalanche snap a five-game skid with a 5-2 win over the struggling Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
Peter Mueller and Jones scored 35 seconds apart in the second period to send the Avalanche to their third victory in four games against Chicago this season. Kyle Quincey tacked on an empty-net goal with just more than 2 minutes remaining.
Brent Seabrook and Patrick Kane had goals for the Blackhawks, who dropped their eighth straight on the road. They haven’t won away from United Center since Dec. 14 at Minnesota. Chicago is 0-3-1 on its nine-game trip.
Landeskog’s goal came on a slap shot from the top of the circle after a feed from Paul Stastny.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere was solid all night in net, turning back shot after shot from a relentless Chicago attack, including one from point-blank range by Dave Bolland that hit Giguere squarely in the chest.
Brought in this season to be the backup, Giguere has recently been getting a majority of the starts. The veteran is among the NHL leaders in goals-against average and save percentage.
Clinging to a one-goal lead midway through the final period, the Avalanche dodged several dicey situations, including two penalties they were able to kill off.
Jones’ second goal of the game alleviated some of the pressure. Stastny dug out a loose puck along the boards and shoveled a lead pass to Jones, who sent it over Ray Emery.
The win was No. 100 for Avalanche coach Joe Sacco. He is 100-99-20 in his career with Colorado.
After a rather uneventful opening 20 minutes, the action quickly heated up in the second period.
Seabrook put the Blackhawks on the board first, when he rifled in a slap shot past Giguere 31 seconds into the period. The defenseman even dropped down to a knee for added accuracy.
The advantage was short-lived, because the Avalanche scored 35 seconds apart to grab back the momentum. Both goals came on costly Chicago turnovers.
First, Ryan O’Reilly stole the puck in the Avalanche end and raced down the ice, with Mueller following on his right. O’Reilly waited for Emery to commit to him and then dished a pass over to Mueller, who tapped it in for his fifth goal of the season.
That was quite a birthday present for O’Reilly, who turned 21 on Tuesday.
Soon after, Milan Hejduk stole the puck near the blue line and skated down low before sending a pass to a wide-open Jones, who lifted the puck over Emery’s shoulder.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville called a timeout to settle down his team. The breather worked as Kane, known as a prolific passer, showed he can score as well, beating Giguere with a backhand to tie the game at 2.
Defenseman Tyson Barrie made his NHL debut after recently being called up from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League. Barrie replaced good friend Stefan Elliott, who was sent down to the minors.
“I’d rather be up here with him, but that’s the way things go,” said Barrie, who had his parents and girlfriend on hand for the game. “He had a good stint up here and he showed he can play. Hopefully, I can do the same thing.”
At 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, Barrie is a little small for a defenseman but makes up for it with moxie. He will try to give the Avalanche some scoring punch from the blue line.
Barrie comes from good hockey lineage as his father, Len, played 184 games spanning seven seasons with Philadelphia, Florida, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.
NOTES: Stastny played in his 400th career game. … NASCAR driver Regan Smith was in attendance wearing an Avalanche jersey. Asked by the stadium announcer why he enjoys hockey, Smith said: “It’s fast and the arena is shaped like an oval, which is what we race on.” … Avs enforcer Cody McLeod had a couple of stitches above his left eye after an on-ice brawl with Vancouver’s Byron Bitz on Saturday. “Just got me with a good punch,” McLeod said. … Chicago D Duncan Keith had two assists.
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