Blackhawks come back to beat Avs
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[January 18, 2017]
DENVER -- Joel Quenneville shook
up his line combinations looking for a spark on offense. The Chicago
Blackhawks coach got it, but not from the usual players.
Vinnie Hinostroza scored twice in a span of 3:10 of the third
period, and the Blackhawks rallied to beat the Colorado Avalanche
6-4 on Tuesday night.
Tanner Kero had two goals and an assist and Nick Schmaltz had a goal
and an assist. Brent Seabrook also scored and Corey Crawford made 19
saves for Chicago (28-14-5).
Five of Chicago's six goals came from the third and fourth lines and
were scored by rookies.
"It feels good especially after the two losses we just had,"
Hinostroza said after the first two-goal game of his young career.
"To come in here and come from behind and win, and the younger guys
to chip in, it's nice."
Matt Duchene had two goals and Blake Comeau and Matt Nieto also
scored for the Avalanche (13-28-1). Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson
Barrie had two assists for Colorado, which has lost 13 of 14 home
Semyon Varlamov allowed five goals on 26 shots.
Quenneville shook up his lines after two straight losses and it paid
immediate dividends. Playing with Kero and Marian Hossa, Hinostroza
scored on a breakaway at 5:10 to forge a 4-4 tie and then poked in a
pass from Kero at 8:11 to put the Blackhawks ahead.
Kero fed Hinostroza on the breakaway by lofting the puck high toward
the Colorado zone, and his linemate tracked it down to score.
"That shows his speed and he creates so much when he uses it," Kero
said. "I figured he was going to go hard to the net and he was in a
perfect spot and it went to him perfect."
Hossa, moved from the top line with captain Jonathan Toews to the
third line, chipped in with three assists but has not scored a goal
in 10 games.
His first assist was the 600th of his career and made him the 32nd
player in NHL history with at least 500 goals and 600 assists.
Toews has only seven goals this season and he gave up a chance for
another when he fed Kero, who scored into an empty net at 19:49 to
"It was a great play. It was a smart play," Quenneville said. "We
know how unselfish he is. He made the right play."
It was another disappointing loss for Colorado, which scored its
most goals since Dec. 8. The Avalanche now have 86 on the season,
the fewest in the NHL.
"It's good that our offense got going, but six against isn't good
enough," Duchene said. "When you score four in this league you
should win, you should keep enough out of your own net, and we
[to top of second column]
Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) reacts after Chicago
Blackhawks left wing Vinnie Hinostroza (48) scored a goal during the
third period at Pepsi Center. The Blackhawks won 6-4. Mandatory
Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Schmaltz's second goal of the season at 2:38 of the first period
gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead.
Colorado tied it on the power play when Duchene tipped MacKinnon's
shot in front of the net at 7:39 of the first. It was just
Colorado's fourth power-play goal in the last 15 games.
After Richard Panik hit the post, Seabrook gave Chicago the lead
again with his third goal of the season. His shot from the point
went through traffic and past Varlamov at 12:50 of the first.
The teams combined for three goals in 1:22 midway through the second
period. Comeau and Nieto struck first 1:03 apart to give Colorado a
3-2 lead, but 19 seconds later, Kero chipped a loose puck by
Varlamov to tie it.
Duchene's second of the game and 15th of the season made it 4-3 at
14:08 of the second but Colorado couldn't hold it.
"We don't play with many leads, so I guess we're not used to them,"
MacKinnon said. "Finishing off the Blackhawks would have given us
some confidence to start the second half."
NOTES: Blackhawks F Marcus Kruger (hand) did not make the team's
two-game trip but coach Joel Quenneville said he expected him to
skate in Chicago on Tuesday. "We'll see how he is at the end of the
week," Quenneville said. Kruger has missed eight games with the
injury. ... Avalanche C John Mitchell was back in the lineup after
being a healthy scratch the last two games. Andreas Martinsen was
scratched. ... Blackhawks F Jordin Tootoo was scratched for the
second straight game. Tootoo has no points in 34 games. ... Colorado
D Erik Johnson, who has missed six weeks with a broken fibula, is
expected to miss another month.
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