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Colorado Avalanche get their groove back against the Blackhawks

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The Avalanche bounce back with a big 5-0 against Chicago

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

First Period:

Through the first ten minutes of play, Chicago controlled the game, with the shots 10-5 in their favor. Late in the period, the Avs started to wrest control of the game, Delia tripped Landeskog to put Colorado on the powerplay. Sven Andrighetto made an incredible individual effort to put the Avs up 1-0.

Varlamov was exceptional in the period, stopping all of Chicago’s shots including some high-quality opportunities. The Blackhawks largely controlled the period until the end, with the shots 15-10 in their favor.

Second Period:

Neither team really took over the second period, although the Avalanche had the edge in the early onset. After some chances for both teams, we were treated with a fight between Connor Murphy and JT Compher. Interestingly, the refs only assigned a roughing penalty to both players, causing a 4-on-4 situation.

Early in the penalties, David Kampf was called for high-sticking, putting the Avalanche in the rare 4-on-3 situation. Tyson Barrie scored on a shot from the point to extend the lead. It was weak goal that Chicago rookie Collin Delia would like to have back, but the Avs will take it.

There wasn’t a whole lot of action for the remainder of the period. The second intermission hit with the Avalanche holding onto a 2-0 lead.

Third Period:

Seven minutes into the third, the top powerplay unit reminded us why they have been one of the best in the NHL this season. Mikko Rantanen finished off a beautiful tic-tac-toe play for his 28th goal of the season, extending the lead to 3-0.

Then only two minutes later, we saw another beautiful passing play resulting in a Tyson Jost goal. The fourth of the game for the Avs matching their total offensive output from their past four games combined.

It wasn’t all good news in this one though. With just over six minutes remaining in the game, Tomas Jerco went tot he net hard and slammed into an outstretched Semyon Varlamov. Well on his way to a shutout, Vary was forced to leave the game as he was replaced by Jonathan Bernier - who himself was just returning from an absence from the lineup.

Sven Andrighetto added his second of the game to give the Avalanche a 5-0 victory. Unfortunately, That’s not the big story in this one. Semyon Varlamov left the game and with his history of lower body injuries, it’s hard to be optimistic about the diagnosis of his injury.

This was the last game against a bad team. If the Avs want to make the playoffs, they’re going to have some big games against playoff-bound team.


Observations

  • Tyson Barrie put the team on his back tonight and gave a performance you want to see from your elite defenseman in big games.
  • This was the culmination of Collin Delia’s storybook season. In the past 12 months, the 23-year old from Rancho Cucamonga, California went from Merrimack College to the Indy Fuel of the ECHL to the AHL and now he’s starting NHL games for an Original Six franchise.
  • Four games remaining. They’re all must-win from here on out.