Crawford had 22 saves, center Artemi Panarin and right winger
Richard Panik scored first-period goals, and the short-handed
Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 Tuesday.
The Blackhawks won despite not having center Jonathan Toews
available. The captain had to sit out Tuesday because he skipped
Sunday's All-Star Game in Nashville due to illness, but Chicago
outshot the Avalanche 42-23 without him.
"We missed the captain," Panarin said through an interpreter. "He's
a real leader. It was real tough without him."
Goaltender Calvin Pickard made 40 saves, and left winger Gabriel
Landeskog scored for the Avalanche. Colorado (27-23-3) remained in
the first wild-card position in the Western Conference because the
Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators also lost.
"They could have scored seven or eight times if Pick didn't play so
well for us," Colorado center Nathan MacKinnon said. "We laid an
egg, and it's definitely unacceptable this time of the season, the
last 30 games. To come up with an effort like that is unacceptable."
Colorado was bottled up for the first two periods before the
Blackhawks (34-16-4) survived a flurry to start and end the third
period. The Avalanche had eight shots through the first 40 minutes
but nearly doubled that with 15 shots in the third.
"You don't really see that often," Crawford said. "There were kind
of some fluky ones, too. There was a sinker from the blue line in
the second, but I was able to get into it in the third."
Crawford was sharp despite not getting tested early. He came up big
in a pile of players in front of the net early in the third when the
Avalanche tried to bang the puck in for the tying goal.
Pickard came off for an extra skater with 2:07 remaining. Landeskog
had the best chance with a shot from the slot, but Crawford made the
The win helped erase a poor stretch before the All-Star break when
Chicago lost three of four while scoring just three goals.
"Crow was good at the end of the game, but I liked our team game,"
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought it was comparable
to that stretch we had in January."
The Blackhawks came out flying at the start and put 11 of the first
13 shots on net. Panik gave Chicago a 1-0 lead 2:57 into the game
when he batted in a pass from center Andrew Shaw for his third goal
of the season.
[to top of second column]
Chicago continued to carry the play early and held Colorado without
a shot on its first power play. Two minutes after the Blackhawks
killed off defenseman Brent Seabrook's tripping minor, Panarin
scored when his shot went off Avalanche center Chris Wagner's stick
at 7:16 of the first.
It was Panarin's 18th of the season.
"Kind of a broken play on the first (goal), took a weird bounce off
the boards and he just whacked at it and it got through me," Pickard
said. "The second one was off one of our guy's sticks. Those things
happen. There were a lot of bodies around the net. It was
unfortunate to get down 2-0, but it was nice to hold them to two."
Colorado cut the lead to 2-1 when Landeskog got the puck in the slot
and beat Crawford high on the glove side at 9:59 of the first. It
was his 14th of the season and third in two games.
The Blackhawks continued to dominate in the second period. They
outshot Colorado 15-2 but couldn't get one past Pickard.
The two shots allowed were the fewest Chicago has allowed in a
period this season.
NOTES: With C Jonathan Toews suspended for the game because he
skipped Sunday's All-Star Game due to illness, Teuvo Teravainen
centered Chicago's top line. He skated with LW Andrew Shaw and RW
Marian Hossa. ... Colorado G Semyon Varlamov was scratched because
he was dealing with his civil-suit trial filed against him by his
ex-girlfriend. The suit stems from an altercation the two had in
2013. G Roman Will was recalled from San Antonio to serve as Calvin
Pickard's backup. ... Blackhawks D Michal Rozsival was out of the
lineup with a lower-body injury. ... Avalanche D Brad Stuart, out
since Nov. 10, recently had surgery on his back and could miss the
remainder of the season
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