Avalanche dump Hawks in overtime

  

The Chicago Blackhawks continued their quest for their first win in 2022 when they hosted their Central Division rival, the Colorado Avalanche, at United Center on Tuesday night. The Avs are coming off a 4–2 win at home over the Anaheim Ducks, which was their first game since Dec. 16 following multiple postponements due to COVID-19. The Blackhawks started Marc-Andre Fleury in net for the first time since he tested positive for COVID-19, while the Avs had veteran Darcy Kuemper between the pipes.

First period

At 7:43, Erik Johnson scored his fourth of the season on a wrist shot over Fleury’s right shoulder to give Colorado a 1–0 lead. The play began thanks to a Nazem Kadri rush into the Hawks’ zone, and he wristed a shot that Fleury stopped, but Kadri picked up his own rebound on the left half boards and fed Johnson, who was alone on the left point.

The Avs took a 2–0 lead on Alex Newhook’s seventh goal of the season at the 13:54 mark. An uncovered Newhook weaved his way in front of the net, where the Avs had a 3-on-2 down low, and he backhanded one over Fleury’s left shoulder while Riley Stillman inadvertently screened the Hawks goaltender.

The Avs dominated the opening frame and led it 2–0 after 20 minutes. Colorado outshot the Hawks 13–5 with nearly the entire period spent in the home team’s zone.

Second period

The Hawks opened the period with a much stronger effort than the first, and it paid off. At the 4:47 mark, Jonathan Toews scored his fourth of the season as the Hawks took advantage of some sustained time in the offensive zone. A Seth Jones shot was stopped by Kuemper and MacKenzie Entwistle jumped on the rebound that squirted to Toews, who got inside position on Avs defenseman Samuel Girard and poked it home to cut the Colorado lead to 2–1.

In the second, the Hawks controlled play most of the way and they outshot the Avalanche 17–7. After two, the Blackhawks had a 22–20 lead in shots on goal.

Third period

Trailing by one, the Hawks took advantage of an early two-man advantage, as Jones fed Patrick Kane, who went diagonal to Alex DeBrincat at the side of the net for his 19th of the season at the 2:18 mark. Just 40 seconds later, DeBrincat scored his 20th from the slot on a 5-on-4 advantage on a feed from Kane near the right half boards to give the Blackhawks a 3–2 lead.

After about four minutes of back-and-forth action without a whistle, Colorado tied it at the 11:44 mark on Johnson’s second of the game and fifth of the season when a floating shot from the left half boards deflected in off Hawks defenseman Jake McCabe.

In the third period, the Avs held a slim advantage in shots on goal, however, the teams were even at 30 apiece through regulation time.

Overtime

At 2:38 of overtime, the 2019 Hobey Baker Award winner Cale Makar skated behind the Chicago net to the half boards with Kirby Dach in his hip pocket. Makar then stopped on a dime and skated toward the right post and lifted a backhand past Fleury for the highlight-reel game-winner, his 14th of the season, which leads the NHL among defensemen. Colorado outshot the Hawks 3–1 in overtime and had a 33–31 edge for the game.

The good, the bad, the ugly

The good

Jonathan Toews — The Captain was tremendous, especially in the second period when he was all over the ice and scored the goal that seemed to have jumpstarted the rest of his teammates. He also nearly won the game midway through overtime by himself by outmuscling two Colorado defenders and fooling Kuemper, but the bad-angle shot hit the outside of the post.

The bad

The first period — Following last Sunday’s 5–1 home loss to the Calgary Flames where Blackhawks Interim Head Coach Derek King questioned the effort of several players, the Hawks came out sluggish to start this game. Perhaps that may have been the difference, because if they had played the way they did during the final 40 minutes, they may have won the game in regulation.

The ugly

Derek King — As the home head coach, King gets the final line change. The Avs opened the extra session with Makar, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon. King countered with Dach, Jones and Philipp Kurashev. This mismatch both started and ended overtime, as the Hawks’ trio was on the ice for Makar’s game-winner.

Analysis

Overall, this was a much better effort for the Hawks than the previous two games when they were outscored 11–2 by Nashville and Calgary. The good news is the team showed some fight after a terrible first period when they found themselves in a 2–0 hole.

The Hawks hit the road for a three-game trip beginning Thursday night in Arizona. Puck drop is at 8 p.m. CST on NBCSCH with the radio call on WGN 720.

Center Ice Forums Avalanche dump Hawks in overtime

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    Andrew Bard
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    The Chicago Blackhawks continued their quest for their first win in 2022 when they hosted their Central Division rival, the Colorado Avalanche, at Uni
    [To continue reading full article, click here: Avalanche dump Hawks in overtime]

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