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Black Hearted: Avalanche 4, Blackhawks 3 in OT

Hey, at least the Blackhawks got a point?

NHL: JAN 04 Avalanche at Blackhawks
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jack Johnson and Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane during NHL action
Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks lost 4-3 in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday at the United Center, overcoming a 2-0 deficit along the way. It continues a five-game losing streak for the Blackhawks.

The game started with a fight between Connor Murphy and Gabriel Landeskog after Landeskog hit a kneeling Kirby Dach into the boards, which looked very rough on slow-motion replay.

About five minutes later in terms of game time, the Avalanche scored first as Erik Johnson got a shot from the point past Marc-Andre Fleury.

Later in the first, Alex Newhook got the puck in the left faceoff circle after a failed zone clear and after some stick handling elevated a puck above Fleury’s shoulder, making it a 2-0 game in favor of the Avalanche.

With 100 seconds left in the first, Marc-Andre Fleury made a helluva save, getting over from one post to another to rob Tyson Jost:

Early in the second period, Jonathan Toews scored his fourth goal of the season and the fourth in eight games for the captain:

MacKenzie Entwistle did a good job of keeping a shot from Seth Jones at the net-front until a rebound found Toews.

Less than a minute into the third period, Nathan MacKinnon put the Blackhawks on the power play against a penalty kill as weak as the Blackhawks’ entering this game. A puck-over-glass penalty put the Blackhawks up two skaters and Alex DeBrincat would receive a pass from Patrick Kane across the royal road leading to a goal, DeBrincat’s 19th of the season:

DeBrincat’s goal tied the game at two before he scored another power-play goal 50 seconds later, making it a 3-2 game.

The Avalanche tied the game with 8:16 to go after a missed high stick on DeBrincat, which caused DeBrincat to bleed on the bench. Johnson scored for the Avalanche — his second of the game — after his shot deflected off of Jake McCabe and past Fleury.

In overtime, Cale Makar ended the game after cutting on a dime against Dach and roofing a puck past Fleury, winning the game 4-3 for the Avalanche. He’s the NHL leader in goals among defensemen for a reason but that one hurt.

Notes

  • The Blackhawks played very poorly in the first period, generating just seven shot attempts and one scoring chance in the first 20 minutes. The Avalanche, meanwhile, generated 28 shot attempts and 1.32 expected goals, leading to the 2-0 lead for Colorado in the first period.
  • However, the Blackhawks bounced back in the second frame, generating 1.63 expected goals and 27 shot attempts. A much better frame saw the Blackhawks score just one goal but it was the beginning of the comeback for the Blackhawks, who finally saw more than one good period in a game.
  • Jonathan Toews played a very good game, especially after the second period began. Toews was on ice for 18:25 across all strengths and had a goal, two shots, 0.4 expected goals, two takeaways and won 13 faceoffs. That’s a rather vintage performance from the captain, and those have been rare so far this season.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury, returning from COVID-19 protocol, made 29 saves on 33 shots, facing 2.46 expected goals across all strengths and saved four of the five high-danger shots he faced. Fleury was better past the first period but got played by Makar on the overtime goal.
  • The expected goal share leader among forward lines in this game for the Blackhawks may or may not be surprising: the line of Ryan Carpenter, Dylan Strome and Jujhar Khaira had 70.52 percent in 4:09 together at 5-on-5. The other line above 50 percent was the trio of Brandon Hagel, Henrik Borgstrom and Patrick Kane at 60.47 percent in 8:55.
  • Seth Jones got embarrassed multiple times throughout the game, including on plays against Makar and Mikko Rantanen. Jones getting stickhandled out of position also led to a defensive penalty against a deadly power play. While Jones got two secondary assists throughout the game, it was not a good one defensively for the supposed franchise defenseman.
  • Posts played a big role in this game, denying an overtime chance for Toews and multiple chances for the Avalanche throughout the game.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Erik Johnson (COL) — 2 G
  2. Alex DeBrincat (CHI) — 2 G
  3. Patrick Kane (CHI) — 2 A

What’s next

The Blackhawks head to the desert to face the Coyotes on Thursday at 8 p.m. in Arizona.