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 games.

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 ice it.

"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 didn't tonight."

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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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