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Game Recap: Avalanche Blackhawks

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche came out firing in the first period with a number of good scoring opportunities. Carl Soderberg got the best chance of anyone when he caught the puck up ice and had only Scott Darling standing between the net. Soderberg got off a decent shot, and Darling made the save; but in the process, Trevor Van Riemsdyk was called for hooking and put Colorado (4-out-of-6 on Monday) on the power play. The Avs set up in the zone, passed the puck around the net, and found Alex Tanguay on the goal line, who paused just long enough for Soderberg set up in the slot and tip the impending pass into the net. Chicago's Artem Anisimov would tally the second goal of the game with just 1:28 left in the period, when he'd catch a cross-ice pass NHL-point-leader Patrick Kane and snipe a shot over the right shoulder of a well-positioned Semyon Varlamov.

Chicago would strike again early in the 2nd Period when Andrew Desjardins caught a Teuvo Teravainen pass on an odd-man rush and shot the puck past a sliding Varlamov to put the Blackhawks up 2-1. The Avs then proceeded to do their best Sharks impression, committing two minor penalties just 2:39 apart. The Avalanche penalty kill would only once in the two Blackhawks' opportunities. Patrick Kane, he of much point scoring, slipped another past Varlamov, who surely must have been confused at that point that Chicago was actually able to score. Things were looking up a few minutes later when Andrew Shaw would get called for slashing Brandon Gormley and setting up the Avalanche on another power play. They would fail to convert during the two-minute advantage; but almost immediately afterward, Cody McLeod stole the puck near the Chicago blue line and ripped a long shot through Brent Seabrook and past goalie Scott Darling to close the deficit 3-2.

The 3rd Period was more of the same, with some pretty even scoring chances and the Avs committing some untimely penalties. Right after killing an Alex Tanguay infraction, Erik Johnson activated Condor-Mode, skated through the neutral zone and shot a difficult-angle wrist-shot five-hole past Darling to tie the game 3-3.

The game would go into overtime. And then the Avalanche proved once again how they still don't have this 3-on-3 thing figured out. They got plenty of opportunities, didn't convert on any of them, and then committed an inexcusable Too-Many-Men penalty with just over two-and-a-half minutes left, giving the Blackhawks a 4-on-3 advantage for nearly the remainder the OT. Once the puck settled down, Chicago got passing, and then found Jonathan Toews right near the net and beat Varlamov at point blank range.

Game over. Go away 2015.