Chicago Blackhawks take the first game of two this week against the Colorado, defeat the Avalanche 3-1.
Red hot Blackhawks vs an even hotter, first place Avalanche team. This game, as you probably would have anticipated, had a playoff type atmosphere as soon as the puck dropped and it was one of the quickest paces to start a hockey game that we’ve seen this year.
Remember 2 days ago where Corey Crawford only contested 16 shots against Phoenix? Boy was he tested early tonight. Colorado definitely took some notes and came out firing in the first period ripping 7 shots on Crawford in the first 3 minutes of the game and finished the period with 13 total shots. Crawford came to play and stopped all of them in the period (one less than his save amount Tuesday night).
However, it was the Blackhawks that got on the scoreboard first from a Jonathan Toews backhander that flung past goaltender Semyon Varlamov’s right shoulder.
There were plenty of scoring opportunities for both sides in the second, but Colorado got the equalizer on a lucky tip by Ryan O’Byrne late in the period. Blackhawks nearly got it back with time winding down, but Semyon Varlamov denied Brent Seabrook point blank by stretching out his right pad keeping the game tied at 1.
Varlamov came up big again early in the third period making a couple of key stops on Michael Frolik and Patrick Sharp. A little over 7 minutes into the final period, however, Sharp put the Blackhawks back up by a goal after wristing a shot past the 23-year old goaltender.
Marian Hossa shut the door at the end sliding home the empty-netter. Both goaltenders were unbelievable. Corey Crawford finished with 31 saves while Semyon Varlamov had arguably his best performance of the season stopping 27 of 29.
The Blackhawks looked a little sloppy towards the beginning, but they finished strong and most importantly came away with 2 points against a team that entered the game on a 5-game win streak.
*Jonathan Toews now has at least 1 point in each of the last 4 of 5 games, finished with a goal and an assist tonight.
*Brent Seabrook led all skaters with 6 blocked shots.
*Power Play: 0-for-2 (0%)
*Penalty Kill: 2-for-2 (100%)
A rematch of tonight’s game on Saturday night, this time at the United Center. Puck drop at 7:30 pm CT!