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Avalanche fall to Blackhawks 5-2 after holiday break

Although Colorado had some momentum in the first period, they couldn't tame the Blackhawks and fell 5-2

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Pregame Notes

  • Avalanche enter this game with a 13-13-8 record while the Blackhawks are 23-10-2.
  • Avalanche begin a stretch of six of their next eight at home and carry a three game win streak into this match up.
  • Erik Johnson has five goals in his last five games and has by far been the best Avalanche player during this hot streak.

First Period

Ryan O'Reilly got called for a trip just 3:14 into the game. Tanguay got a break away 45 seconds into the power play and hit the post. It was a great play by Cody McLeod to chip it up the ice for Tanguay but Tangs held it and ripped it off the pipe. Avalanche killed off the penalty and then got a couple chances right after including a chance for Daniel Briere but he shot it high.

GOAL: Nathan Mackinnon with a classic goal where he flew through the neutral zone and fired the puck top shelf. He has been silent the past few weeks so it is nice to see that from him. The goal was scored at 6:56 in the first.

GOAL: Hawks tied it with a nice pass from Jonathan Toews to Brandon Saad as the Hawks just 31 seconds after the Mackinnon goal.

GOAL: Erik Johnson slapped one past Crawford to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead. The puck hit off a Chicago defenseman to deflect it by Crawford but holy cow, Johnson has been on fire (Just look at the pregame notes).

Avalanche got called for interference at 11:25. Zach Redmond got called as the Blackhawks got their second power play chance of the game. Talbot ripped one off the post just 30 seconds into the power play for the second shorthanded post of the game for Colorado. The Avalanche killed off the penalty without the Hawks getting a shot.

GOAL: A shooting pass from Duncan Keith got tipped by Patrick Kane to tie the game at two with 3:40 remaining in the period.

Period ended with both teams tied at two. It was a pretty back and fourth battle between the two teams but yet another good start to a game between these two clubs. Shots were nine to six in favor of Chicago after the first.

Second Period

Penalty on the Blackhawks for interference just 2:01 into the period. Patrick Sharp got called. Avalanche couldn't produce much on the power play but immediately after, Iginla got a backhand shot on a break away but it was stopped by Crawford.

With 8:25 remaining the in the period, Mackinnon flipped the puck over the boards in the Avs zone to give the Blackhawks their third power play of the game.

GOAL: Brent Seabrook fires a snapshot from the circle to give the Hawks a power play goal and a one goal lead 13:14 into the second period. That puck got right into the top left corner of the net. An impressive shot that got by Pickard.

Duchene had a break away chance late in the period but it got broken up by Seabrook. Duchess had that break away speed but couldn't get a great shot off.

Second period comes to a close with the Avalanche down by one going into the third period. The second was a little tighter than the previous period but the one power play goal gives the Blackhawks the 3-2 advantage. Shots were 13 to 8 in the second in favor of the Blackhawks. Chicago led the total shots 22-14 after two as well.

Third Period

Matt Duchene got an interference call right around the 12 minute mark for hitting Seabrook around a loose puck. It looked like they ran into each other is a questionable call but none the less, the Blackhawks are going on the power play once again.

GOAL: It looked like the Avs were in good shape in the corner but Toews chipped the puck towards the front of the net and Patrick Sharp slapped it by Pickard on the power play at 8:14 in the third.

Penalty on Chicago as Johnny Oduya got called for a hook in front of the net with 10:31 remaining. After a minute and 20 seconds on the power play, Niklas Hjalmarsson was called for interference on Alex Tanguay to give Colorado 40 seconds of 5-on-3 time.

Avalanche cannot score on the 5-on-3 chance. They kept everything on the outside and didn't even get a good chance. After the Hawks killed the 5-on-3, they killed the rest of the power play. The Avalanche didn't do anything on the power play opportunity. Woof.

Avalanche pulled Pickard with over two minutes remaining in the game.

GOAL: Kane gets an empty netter with five seconds left. Duchene hit him between the legs while he did it which led to a scum after the goal.

The horn blows and the Avs go down 5-2.

Post Game Thoughts

It would have been nice for the Avalanche to get over .500 with a victory tonight but they just didn't have it. After Patrick Sharp scored to make it a two goal game in the third, the Avalanche were dead. It also doesn't help that the Jets, Wild, Stars and Flames all picked up points tonight as well. Tonight was kind of a reality check that it is going to be a long road to get into playoff position in the West.

Avalanche Three Stars

3. Matt Duchene - I simply choose Dutchy for whacking Patrick Kane in the nuts on the empty netter.

2. Nathan Mackinnon - He got a great goal in the first period that gave us reminders of last season. If only the team could win the game like they would have last year.

1. Erik Johnson - The guy is on fire, no doubt about it.

Next Up

The Avalanche are in St. Louis against the Blues at 8 p.m. ET on Monday.