Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 20 games, but the Blackhawks couldn’t hold off the Avalanche in a 5-3 loss Friday at the United Center.
J.T. Compher scored with less than six minutes to go in the third period and Carl Soderberg added an shorthanded empty-netter in the final minute for Colorado. Semyon Varlamov made 41 saves in the victory.
With the loss, Chicago is three points behind Minnesota for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Wild, who won 3-2 in Detroit, hold the final spot at 64 points with Colorado one point back and Arizona tied with Chicago.
Yet again the Blackhawks had a sluggish start, with Soderberg stuffing home his first goal of the game at 3:51. Chicago goaltender Collin Delia came up big after Chris Kunitz took a penalty late in the first to keep it a one-goal game.
Dylan Strome made it 1-1 with a power-play goal when he banked in a bouncing puck off the end boards at 10:48. In the 38 games since he was traded to the Blackhawks, Strome has 13 goals and 37 points.
Compher — a Northbrook, Illinois native — put the visitors up 2-1 on the power play deep with 2:55 left in the second period, but Kane tallied his 39th goal of the season to tie the game on a hardworking setup by Jonathan Toews. Kane now has 93 points, including 43 (17 goals, 26 assists) since his point streak started Jan. 3.
Marcus Kruger, who took a shot off his right ankle in the first period, only skated a 17-second shift in the second and didn’t return to game. Head coach Jeremy Colliton said Kruger “couldn’t skate on it.”
The Avalanched scored three third-period goals, starting with Gabriel Landeskog at 3:36. Alex DeBrincat pushed back for Chicago on the power play with his 34th goal of this season.
Colorado closed the door with Compher and Soderberg each scoring their second goals of the game to give the Avalanche their fourth win in their last five. Compher cashed in on an errant Slater Koekkoek pass that was intercepted by Patrik Nemeth at 14:38. Soderberg added an empty-netter after Brandon Saad couldn’t knock the puck in with a 6-on-4 advantage at the other end.
The Blackhawks host the Stars on Sunday at the United Center.
CHI GOALS: Strome, Kane, DeBrincat
COL GOALS: Soderberg (2), Compher (2), Landeskog
- Semyon Varlamov (COL) — 41 saves
- J.T. Compher (COL) — 2 goals, 1 assist
- Jonathan Toews (CHI) — 2 assists