Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Avalanche 4, Hawks 2
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- Here’s quick look at the Colorado Avalanche’s 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Tuesday.
How it happened: The Avalanche pulled ahead of the Blackhawks three different times on the night, and the final advantage stuck for them. Tyson Barrie provided the game winner with a power-play goal to break a 2-2 tie at 12:50 of the third period. The Avalanche added an empty-net goal in the final minute to secure the win. The Blackhawks had evened the game 2-2 earlier in the period on a power-play goal by Jonathan Toews. Ryan O’Reilly scored his 24th goal of the season to put the Avalanche ahead 2-1 at 1:24 of the third period. Maxime Talbot also scored for the Avalanche, and Ben Smith had a goal for the Blackhawks. Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves, and Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford made 18 saves.
What it means: The Avalanche picked up two vital points in what has become a three-team Central race between the Blackhawks, Avalanche and St. Louis Blues. The Avalanche moved to within a point of the Blackhawks for second place in the Central. The Avalanche are 40-17-5 with 85 points. The Blackhawks are 36-12-14 with 86 points. The Blues were leading the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in the third period at the conclusion of the Blackhawks-Avalanche game. The Blues lead the division with a 40-14-6 record and 86 points.
Player of the game: Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson had three assists, including two primary ones, in the win. He had a plus-2 rating for the game.
Stat of the game: The Blackhawks had nine players with three shots or more shots on goal.