Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Sports News

Preview: Avalanche at Blackhawks

Send a link to a friend 

[January 14, 2014]  The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks continue their four-game homestand when they meet the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. "It was nice that we played the right way (against Edmonton)," coach Joel Quenneville told reporters after Sunday's 5-3 victory. "It will certainly give us confidence in the later stages of games. The next three games are all big tests for us and we want to make sure we have a real good homestand here. It could put us back in a better spot." Chicago leads the Central Division by three points over St. Louis and is nine clear of Colorado, with games against first-place clubs Anaheim and Boston on the horizon.

Colorado has as many wins as losses (16-11-5) since its 12-1-0 start but has won five of its last seven games following a 4-2 victory at Minnesota on Saturday. "(It) meant a lot of confidence for us and two points are big when we're going to an even tougher barn in Chicago (on Tuesday)," Ryan O'Reilly told reporters after scoring two goals. Avalanche center Paul Stastny did not practice Monday after leaving Saturday's game with a leg injury, leaving the United States Olympian day-to-day.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), CSN (Chicago)

ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (28-12-5): Colorado's top two scorers  Matt Duchene and captain Gabriel Landeskog  have fared well against Chicago in their young careers, with Duchene recording five goals and 14 points in 14 games and Landeskog six tallies and eight points in nine contests. Defenseman Tyler Barrie will play after missing Saturday's game with a shoulder injury, but backup goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere (7-4-0, 2.65 goals-against average, .911 save percentage) is out indefinitely with back spasms. Saturday began a stretch during which Colorado plays 10-of-14 games on the road prior to the Winter Olympic break.


[to top of second column]

ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (30-8-10): Chicago is 2-1-3 in its last six games, but captain Jonathan Toews hasn't let the team's sub-par play affect him by recording at least a point in each contest, totaling two goals and five assists. Andrew Shaw had a strong game Sunday, setting the tone early with a big hit and matching a career high with his 12th goal. "We've got to move forward and keep believing in one another," Shaw told reporters. "It's a long season, we've just got to push each other."

OVERTIME

  1. The teams scored 42 goals while splitting the last six meetings, with Chicago winning the last encounter 7-2 on Dec. 27 as Patrick Sharp celebrated his 32nd birthday with his third career hat trick.

  2. Colorado recalled G Sami Aittokallio from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League to back up Semyon Varlamov (21-8-5, 2.35, .926).

  3. Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane had two assists Sunday, giving him three points in his last seven contests since totaling eight goals and 25 assists during a 14-game point streak.

PREDICTION: Blackhawks 5, Avalanche 3

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Sports index

Back to top