Avalanche 5, Blackhawks 2
With a flick of the wrist, Gabriel Landeskog helped snap
Colorado’s season-long five-game skid while extending Chicago’s
misery on the road.
The rookie forward broke a tie 38 seconds into the third period
and David Jones added two goals, lifting the Avalanche to a 5-2 win
over the struggling Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
Landeskog simply did what he does best – shoot the puck as hard
as he can. And with his drive finding the net, weeks of frustration
began to fade on the spot for the Avs.
”It felt great,” said Landeskog, who recently participated in
the All-Star skills competition. ”We knew if we stuck with it, we
would start getting the bounces. That’s what we did tonight.”
Peter Mueller and Jones scored 35 seconds apart in the second
period to send the Avalanche to their third victory in four games
against Chicago this season. Kyle Quincey tacked on an empty-net
goal with just more than 2 minutes remaining.
Brent Seabrook and Patrick Kane had goals for the Blackhawks,
who dropped their eighth straight on the road. They haven’t won
away from United Center since Dec. 14 at Minnesota.
Not all that long ago, the Blackhawks were the top team in the
Western Conference. Now, after a six-game slide, they’ve fallen
seven points behind Detroit in the Central Division.
”It’s not like we’re enjoying this,” said Jonathan Toews,
whose team is 0-3-1 on a nine-game road trip. ”We’re trying to fix
the problem. No one’s going anywhere. No one’s running away from
”We’re looking each other in the eye. We’re expecting every
single guy to be better and pick up the slack and that’s what we’ve
got to do. We can’t hide from these problems. We have to face them
and deal with them.”
That’s precisely what Jones has done.
He was benched for a game after a shaky stretch. But he’s
responded in a big way, scoring three times in his last two
Part of that has to do with his new linemates – Paul Stastny and
Milan Hejduk. The trio had six points against the Blackhawks.
”They’re giving me a chance with some players, guys I played
with last year,” Jones explained. ”We had success and it’s nice
to be back with them. I think playing with guys like Stastny and
(Hejduk), they’ll find you anywhere and you’ve just got to be
ready. We had some good luck tonight and hopefully it will carry
This was exactly what coach Joe Sacco wanted to see.
”It’s been a good response from Jonesey,” said Sacco, who
picked up his 100th career win. ”He gets in there and gets an
opportunity to play on a good line with Paul and Milan and he
buries a couple tonight. So, good for him and good for our
Jean-Sebastien Giguere was solid all night in net, turning back
shot after shot from a relentless Chicago attack, including one in
the final period from point-blank range by Dave Bolland that hit
Giguere squarely in the chest.
Brought in this season to be the backup, Giguere has recently
been getting a majority of the starts. The veteran is among the NHL
leaders in goals-against average and save percentage.
Clinging to a one-goal lead midway through the final period, the
Avalanche dodged several dicey situations, including two penalties
they were able to kill off.
Jones’ second goal of the game alleviated some of the pressure.
Stastny dug out a loose puck along the boards and shoveled a lead
pass to Jones, who sent it over Ray Emery.
Then, Quincey wrapped up the win when he banked in a shot off
the boards from center ice with Emery on the bench for an extra
That’s simply how the night went.
”When you’re on a losing streak, you’re not getting the
bounces,” said Duncan Keith, who had two assists for Chicago.
After a rather uneventful opening 20 minutes, the action quickly
heated up in the second period.
Seabrook put the Blackhawks on the board first, when he rifled
in a slap shot past Giguere 31 seconds into the period.
The advantage was short-lived because the Avalanche scored 35
seconds apart to grab back the momentum.
First, Ryan O’Reilly stole the puck in the Colorado end and
raced down the ice, with Mueller following on his right. O’Reilly
waited for Emery to commit to him and then dished a pass over to
Mueller, who tapped it in for his fifth goal of the season.
That was quite a birthday present for O’Reilly, who turned 21 on
Soon after, Hejduk stole the puck near the blue line and skated
down low before sending a pass to a wide-open Jones, who lifted the
puck over Emery’s shoulder.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville called a timeout to settle down
his team. The breather worked as Kane beat Giguere with a backhand
to tie the game at 2.
In the end, though, it wasn’t enough, as Landeskog scored
moments into the third period.
”When you get into a losing streak, sometimes it can be mental
and play games on your mind,” Keith said. ”You’re thinking, `What
can you do? What can you do?’ I think the best thing to do is work
hard and simplify things and everybody worry about doing their
NOTES: Stastny played in his 400th career game. … D Tyson
Barrie made his NHL debut after recently being called up from Lake
Erie of the American Hockey League. … Quenneville said D Steve
Montador was banged up and will be evaluated Wednesday. He didn’t
specify an injury.