Game 8 Recap: Avalanche Road Magic Continues in 5-4 Shoot Out Win

This recap is brought to you by guest writer, chiavsfan:

The Avalanche were looking for some revenge for Thursday night's loss when they took to the United Center ice for the second part of a home and home with the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks had some extra incentive in this one, unveiling statues of their HOF class Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull before the game (nearly leading to a freaking strip search for me to get to the media door, which is never a problem...unless they set up a ceremony right outside said door.

Early in the first Shane O'Brien went off for a ticky-tac holding call. Varlamov had to make some good saves early on, including a tip. A quick whistle helped him as well, as a puck was trying to squirt between his legs. The Avs killed it off right to a near Winnik breakaway, but he was stopped by some good D and Cory Crawford. From there the Hawks and Avs traded chances (only 1 official shot for the Avs, however), though the better ones were for Chicago, including a near 3-on-1 about halfway through the period, and a breakaway chance that Johnson broke up. The Avs, however, would strike first late in the period when Paul Stastny tipped a Kyle Quincey shot from the point. Shane O'Brien credited with the secondary assist. The Avs kept the pressure up for the rest of the period, but were unable to dent the twine again. Avs outshot the Hawks in the first 7-6.

Between periods, I got to have a nice chat with "The Mose." Who said he actually agrees with where Duchene is right now. He said he just hasn't looked good yet this season. He made the point that when you are playing a team like the Hawks who have Toews, Kane, Hossa and their other big guns playing well...your big guns have to step it up. He also called Adrian Dater "the happiest guy on earth." Then laughed as he walked by. Dater just rolled his eyes. Moser then said Dater "is a man who never met a period of hockey he couldn't bash." Dater just chuckled and moved on.

On to the second period, where the Hawks got the first big scoring chance on a pinch by Nick Leddy, Varlamov snuffed it though. Shortly after, however, the Hawks tied it on a terrible giveaway by Johnson, who put the puck right on Michael Frolik's stick. He slipped it by Varly, and the game was tied at one. Momentum...gone. Before the ice girls come out for their first TV time out, the Avs have a lot of defensive problems, leading to a couple of good chances for the Hawks. Varlamov is up to the task, including a clean look slapper from Brent Seabrook. The recently demoted Matt Duchene? Well, he was caught on several occasions getting the puck stripped while he tried to do too much. Even still...the Avs find a way to regain the lead as David Jones flipped a wrap-around on Cory Crawford, who kind of put it in his own net. But a goal is a goal, and the Avs lead 2-1. Hejduk and Stastny get the assists. The Avs would extend the lead a few minutes later, when Ryan O'Reilly made a perfect pass from behind the net to Gabriel Landeskog. Landy tipped it by Crawford. 3-1 Avs. O'Reilly and Cody Mac get the assists. The Hawks tried to respond, including Jonathan Toews absolutely undressing the Avs D with just over 3 minutes left in the period. But Varlamov again makes the saves when he's needed. The Hawks strike back with under a minute left, when Winnik takes a holding call. Toews takes a big Varly rebound off a Duncan Keith shot, and cuts the lead to 3-2. That's how the 2nd ended. Hawks outshot the Avs in the period 15-10.

Third period time with the Avs clinging to a 1 run lead...oops, one goal lead. Had a little "Major League" Bob Uecker moment there. After a period of sloppy play from both teams, the Hawks tied things up...well the Avs helped the Hawks tie it up, when a shot from Jamal Mayers found itself in the skates of Ryan O'Byrne who kicked it into his own net. The Avs fell into a bit of a lull after that, giving up what seemed like an odd man rush every time down the ice. One was a 2-on-1 that Varlamov saved. The other Viktor Stalberg missed an open net. The Hawks took over the lead on a point blast from Duncan Keith that was tipped in front by Marian Hossa. No body on Hossa, it was too easy. Would their be some late road magic once again? The answer is yes. Gabriel Landeskog found himself all alone on Corey Crawford after a beautiful feed from Ryan O'Reilly, and tied the score at 4 with an emphatic wrist shot. O'Reilly and Winnik get the helpers. A late Milan Hejduk penalty (slashing) will really test the Avs as we are headed to OT. Shots in the period. Avs 6 (23), Hawks 13 (34)

Avs were strong on the penalty kill to open Overtime. Varlamov (glove save), and the D were excellent. Best chance for the Hawks was late in the PP when Andrew Brunette tried a little spin move with Varlamov down. Brunette couldn't get the puck to his stick however. And the game progressed into a shootout after a back and forth OT. Shots in the overtime. Avs 1 (24), Hawks 4 (38).

In the shootout:

Viktor Stalberg - Missed wide

Milan Hejduk - Not his best effort, a pretty routine save for Crawford

Jonathan Toews - Good save by Varlamov

Matt Duchene - A great move, and Craford down, but Crawford got a piece

Patrick Kane - Good move but couldn't slide it under Varlamov's pad

Joakim Lindstrom - A nice double deke, got Crawford down, sealed the game

Three Stars as chosen by "Chicago Media." (Then my 3)

1) Paul Stastny (Gabriel Landeskog)

2) Jonathan Toews (Ryan O'Reilly)

3) Semyon Varlamov (Same, for keeping the Avs in the game)

 

 

Lines

 

  • Jones - Stastny - Hejuk
  • Landeskog - O'Reilly - Winnik
  • Lindstrom - Galiardi - Kobasew
  • McLeod - Duchene - McClement
  • Johnson - Hejda
  • Quincey - O'Brien
  • Wilson - O'Byrne

 

Quick Hits

 

In the locker room after the game. Audible "whoops" and a very light atmosphere. Big win after a sloppy game.

 

Highlights

 

 

Next Up

The Avalanche continue their second road trip with a shin dig in Calgary on Wednesday.

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