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Colorado Avalanche eliminate the Blackhawks from the playoffs

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Eliminating a central division rival from playoff contention never felt so good

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche headed into this contest with the Chicago Blackhawks looking to put some distance in the playoff race. Again Colorado's offense would come through and they'd take a 5-1 victory in the Windy City.

First period was evenly played until Brent Seabrook scored on the power play at 15:45. From then the Avalanche woke up a bit and poured it on Chicago but couldn't convert.

Intermission must have done the Avalanche well as they came out and converted in their own power play. The second unit came through as Alexander Kerfoot rifled home a rebound at 2:07.

The Avalanche weren't finished as they'd add another goal at 5:01. The play was elite all around started with a nice entry by Tyson Barrie but the patience, precision and passing between two of the league's best between Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen is what made this goal with a superb finish by the latter. Unstopable.

The trio would combine on another power play goal for Barrie at 12:40. They would also extend their point streaks to 13 games for MacKinnon, 11 for Barrie and seven for Rantanen.

Chicago would try their best to pressure the Avalanche in the third period by firing 19 shots in goal. However Erik Johnson would scoremib the empty net at 18:04 and then Kerfoot would add another goal a minute later for good measure.

Takeaways

The lineup has been in flux the last few games and looks to continue that way. Colin Wilson would return from an upper body injury but Carl Soderberg sat out with illness. Nikita Zadorov took a big hit and missed most of the first period. He would return but saw limited minutes. Sven Abdrighetto also looked banged up at one point but he soldiered on. Things to monitor in the coming days.

Speaking of returning to the lineup, Erik Johnson logged nearly 29 minutes in this contest and doesn't look like he missed a month of action. The Avalanche are going to lean on him and Barrie heavily in the stretch run.

MacKinnon broke the 90 point mark this evening and now sits at 91 points, just three behind Nikita Kucherov. MacKinnon's marvelous season continues and at this point there's really no ceiling on what he can accomplish. It is a treat to watch him do work on a nightly basis.

Upcoming

The Avalanche head home for a pivotal match against the LA Kings on Thursday, March 22nd at 7pm MT.