The Chicago Blackhawks lost in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in the Pepsi Center on Tuesday night. Chicago (50-22-8) CLEARLY missed having Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson in the lineup, as they struggled defensively allowing the highest amount of shots seen by an opposing team all season (51). Despite the goal-tending effort of Scott Darling between the pipes, the Hawks surrendered a three goal lead to fall in overtime.
Here’s what happened:
Scott Darling was put to the test EARLY in this contest, as the Avalanche (22-54-3) started the game with lots of pressure on the Hawks’ net-minder. Chicago struggled to maintain control of the puck, and did not hold possession of the puck for very long. Despite the efforts of the Avalanche, and a key save on an Avalanche breakaway, Darling kept the game tied. Colorado out-shot the Hawks 16-3 in the first period, but was whistled for a slashing penalty late in the period giving Chicago a man advantage at the break.
With a little bit of time left over from the late first period power play, the Hawks took advantage of the extra man when Artemi Panarin netted his 30th goal of the season on a great feed from Patrick Kane. Panarin’s power play goal marked his seventh goal scored in six games, and gave the Hawks an early 1-0 lead. After starting the game trailing 16-3 in shots on goal, the Blackhawks peppered the Avalanche with nine shots early in the period.
Ryan Hartman followed suit on offense, scoring on a pass from Marcus Kruger to push the Hawks’ lead to 2-0. Hartman’s goal came four minutes after the Panarin tally, and was his 19th of the season. Kruger would score a goal of his own near the halfway point of the second period, when Michal Rozsival found Kruger open on a breakaway from his own defensive zone. The tally was Kruger’s 5th of the year and gave Chicago a hefty 3-0 lead.
However, what has become a road-game “tradition” as of late is the art of surrendering a three goal lead. That “tradition” reared it’s ugly head in this one, as the Hawks gave up TWO shorthanded goals in the second half of the second period. Goals by Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog brought the Avs back within a goal, and Chicago would limp into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead.
Colorado picked up right where they left off coming out of the second intermission. The Avs put nine shots on goal in the first five and a half minutes of the period, including a Mikhail Grigorenko goal to tie the game. In total, the Avs would fire 16 shots on goal and extend the contest into overtime.
After shooting the puck off the post in the first fifteen seconds of overtime, Erik Johnson scored the game winning goal for Colorado. For the second time in three road games, Chicago loses after surrendering a three goal lead.
SCH’s 3 Stars of the Game
1) Matt Duchene, COL (1 goal, 2 assists)
2) Erik Johnson, COL (1 goal, GWG)
3) Scott Darling, CHI (47 saves)
The Hawks head to Anaheim to take on the Ducks on Thursday night at 9:00pmCST.