I had a recap all done and ready to go, but SBN ate it up, so you guys will have to settle for what I can remember happened (as well as Mike's on-the-fly editing skillz). My apologies.
The story of the night was, of course, that the Chicago Blackhawks remain undefeated in regulation this season. Unfortunately, after this game the same story still applies. The good news? The Avalanche have another shot at breaking their streak on Friday. Even better news? The Avalanche played really well.
The Avalanche continually put a lot of pressure on Chicago throughout the game. In fact, the game was a great back and forth match, if it wasn't for the heartbreaking end, I'd say it was one of their better games. Semyon Varlamov was fantastic for the Avalanche and deserves a lot of praise for keeping the score down to three.
During the first period the Avalanche started off by staying low in the Chicago zone and playing a good cycle game below the circles. Halfway through the first period, Cody McLeod was called for a penalty and the Avalanche went on the PK. The Blackhawks are dangerous on Power Plays and they looked strong from the outset of this one. It came as no surprise when Andrew Shaw scored to put the 'Hawks up by one. The Avalanche were not deflated by this,Coach Sacco called a timeout, and calmed down the team. The result? A good drive to the net but they couldn't score on that rush. A few minutes later John Mitchell got set up nicely by Ryan O`Reilly and showed some nice hands and great patience as he scored on Ray Emery to tie up the game late in the period. The last shift of the period, the Avs put a lot of pressure of the Hawks and Mitchell got another chance. It was at an awkward angle, and although he had Emery beat, he couldn't get it in the net. Heading into the lockerroom after the first the teams were tied at one.
In the second frame, the teams continued to exchange chances. The respective goalies deserve credit for keeping the score down to 1-1. The Avalanche made another trip to the Sin Bin again, this time from a hook by Chuck Kobasew. The Avs killed it off nicely, and as Kobasew exited the box Duchene sent him a nice pass. He had a shot on net, but unfortunately the puck went on its side and took an edge, he couldn't get it to go. No one was near to get the rebound or there might have been an even better opportunity. The teams remain even at one. Mitchell took a rather weak hooking penalty but the Avalanche helped him out and killed it. Later, Varlamov made a great save on Patrick Sharp, who had undressed Tyson Barrie. Immediately after the save, the Avs rushed out of the zone thanks to the quick legs and great passing between P.A. Parentea to Matt Duchene. Duchene banked it off of Emery to give his team a 2-1 lead. Despite an Avalanche power play with less than five minutes left in the frame, Colorado doesn't generate many quality chances and headed into the second intermission with a one-goal lead.
Matt Duchene drew a hooking penalty after splitting the D early in the 3rd period to give the Avalanche their 2nd power play of the night but the best shot was by Chicago. A 5 forward unit on the PP wasn't enough to contain Jonathan Toews and the chicanery of Dave Bolland on the 2-on-2, wait!!! 2-on-1, as Toews walked around O'Reilly and wrapped the puck around Varly's outstretched pad. The Avs, to their credit, did not deflate. Chicago continued to put a lot of pressure on the Avalanche, however the Avs really didn't back down. Several scary moments when Colorado collapsed right in front of Varly but worked as a somewhat cohesive unit until they get it out of the zone. Mitchell had another good look, but hit the crossbars.
The remainder of the third period saw plenty of back-and-forth action. The teams took turns in each others' zones and giving each other plenty of chances. The Avs kept the pressure on the Blackhawks and Emery as well. Unfortunately, heartbreakingly, the Blackhawks' Danial Carcillo scored on a goal-mouth scramble with 50 seconds left, preserving their undefeated-in-regulation streak.
Sandie's Avalanche 3 Stick Taps of the Night
- Jamie McGinn Matt Duchene P.A. Parenteau
- Gabriel Landeskog Paul Stastny David Jones
- John Mitchell Ryan O`Reilly Aaron Pulashaj
- Cody McLeod Patrick Bordeleau Chuck Kobasew
- Hossa and Hejduk both sat the game out with injuries.
- The Avs and Hawks face off again, this time in Denver on Friday night.