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Lucky Denver Mint: Avalanche 6, Blackhawks 4

The Blackhawks four-goal third period kept things close but was ultimately not enough in their loss to the Avalanche.

Colorado Avalanche v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks entered Friday night’s contest looking for their first victory over the Avalanche this season. While the Hawks kept things interesting until the very end, they came up short once again, and now own an 0-3-1 record against Colorado this season after a 6-4 loss on Friday night at the United Center.

Although the first period featured a pair of power plays for the Avalanche and one for the Blackhawks, neither team could find the net with the man advantage.

A Blackhawks penalty just 12 seconds into the second period allowed Colorado to open the scoring on a power play goal by Gabriel Landeskog.

Despite having a goal waved off, the Avalanche eventually established a two-goal lead on a goal by J.T. Compher.

Shortly after the start of the third period, Landeskog put the Avalanche up 3-0, scoring his second goal of the game. The Blackhawks responded 22 seconds later with a goal from Brandon Hagel.

Exactly 40 seconds after Hagel scored, Patrick Kane found the back of the net.

Alex Newhook responded shortly after, giving the Avalanche a 4-2 lead.

Kane put his patience and hands on display, scoring his second goal of the evening, making it 4-3.

After Nazem Kadri’s late-period goal gave the Avs a 5-3 lead, the Hawks were able to find the net once more when Hagel scored his second of the night, making it 5-4.

The Blackhawks were ultimately not able to tie the game, though. An empty-net goal from Cale Makar sealed a 6-4 victory for Colorado.

Notes

  • The Blackhawks did show some semblance of resilience with their third-period push. However, let’s face the facts: Colorado is not a team they're going to be able to beat in a game of laser tag.
  • The disappearance of the Blackhawks power play is so concerning that it deserves its own dedicated true crime podcast.
  • The Hawks actually outshot the Avs 43-27. They managed 23 of those shots in the third period. In plain English, this tells us two things: that more shots often (but not always) equals more scoring chances and sometimes its not the amount of shots but the quality of shots taken that ultimately matters. Just some food for thought.
  • The Hagel-Strome-Kane line is one I quite like. It was clearly productive and Strome and Hagel both help to tilt the ice when getting the right match-ups. Strome, in particular, does not get his flowers for this often, if ever. Nice to see him playing well.
  • Kubalik, on the other hand, needs to be put in a better position to succeed. He hasn't been bad, but just too irrelevant for a player of his caliber. While he did manage four shots on net, he received only 13:10 time on ice. Kane and Alex DeBrincat both inched closer to 25 minutes. If anything, with so many power plays, No. 8 should be around that 18-20 minute mark as well.
  • The United Center going with the “Warped Tour/Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” playlist tonight, I see.
  • The Avalanche switching to blue pants looks fine but the blue jersey numbers looks weird.
  • Honorable mention: Hagel would’ve gotten a star from me had the Blackhawks won. Two goals against the Avs is, if nothing else, noteworthy.
  • Colorado is a legitimate Cup contender. All we can hope for after this sort of game is that the Hawks are taking notes and leaving their yellow pad at the desk of their GM this offseason.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Gabriel Landeskog (COL) — 2 goals, 1 assist
  2. Patrick Kane (CHI) — 2 goals, 1 assist, 10 SOG
  3. Nazem Kadri (COL) — 1 goal, 2 assists

What’s next

The Blackhawks will host the Vancouver Canucks on Monday evening at the United Center for a 6:30 p.m. puck drop.