Blackhawks smothered by Avalanche in 4-1 defeat

A pair of second-period goals by the visitors put this one away.

For the third time this season, the Blackhawks faced the Colorado Avalanche.

For the third time this season, the Blackhawks lost.

Colorado has outscored Chicago 16-6 in those three games, including a 4-1 victory at the United Center on Wednesday night.

How it happened

Ian Cole opened the scoring for Colorado with a shot from the point that got past Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford for a 1-0 Avalanche lead in the middle of the first period.

The Blackhawks responded one minute later, with Alex DeBrincat jumping on an Avalanche turnover and passing to Ryan Carpenter, who rifled a wrist shot past Pavel Francouz to tie the game at one.

Colorado jumped ahead in the second period on a pair of wicked wrist shots. First, Nathan MacKinnon got behind the Chicago defense, finding room to unleash this rocket:

Just over two minutes later, Andre Burakovsky used Blackhawks Olli Maatta as a screen for this dart that found its way into the net:

The score remained that way until Mikko Rantanen’s empty-net goal with 2:56 remaining in the third period to seal the victory.

But the third period was not without its drama: Colorado defenseman Sam Girard launched Alex DeBrincat into the boards with a hit near the goal line extended:

That hit drew the ire of the Blackhawks, resulting in an Erik Gustafsson penalty for roughing. Chicago killed off the penalty and DeBrincat stayed in the game despite being shaken up on the play.

Colorado picked up its ninth win in the last 11 games (9-1-1), while the Blackhawks lost for the 11th time in their last 15 games (4-9-2) — indicative of the recent fortunes for each franchise.

Game Charts

Three Stars

  1. Mikko Rantanen (COL) — goal, assist
  2. Gabriel Landeskog (COL) — 2 assists
  3. Pavel Francouz (COL) — 25 saves

What’s next?

The Blackhawks face another Central Division foe in the Jets at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bell MTS Place.