Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blackhawks, Kane, Shutout By Varlamov, Avalanche, 3-0

Two of the hottest goalies in the NHL went at it tonight as the Colorado Avalanche visited the Chicago Blackhawks.  Corey Crawford and Semyon Varlamov, both came into this game winners of their last 3.  But it was Varlamov that would continue his winning ways as the Avs beat the Hawks, 3-0, at the United Center.

The first period saw both teams have some good opportunities, but it was the Avalanche that got the first strike as a Matt Duchene shot was inadvertently deflected by Marcus Kruger, and it sailed up over the left shoulder of Crawford.  The Blackhawks were outshot in the period, 12-9.  Colorado had 6 scoring chances in the period to the Hawks' 2.

In the 2nd, the Blackhawks once again gave up a quick goal at the beginning of the period as Zach Redmond snapped a shot past Crawford to extend the Avs' lead to 2-0 just 1:43 into the period.  The Hawks would then start to put on pressure Varlamov, but they couldn't find a way to get a puck past him.  Artem Anisimov got called for tripping and took away any momentum the Hawks had built up in the period.  When the Hawks did have an odd man break, they managed to shoot the puck right into the pads or chest of Varlamov.  The Hawks outshot Colorado in the 2nd, 13-9.

In the 3rd, the ice was wide open as both teams had scoring chances, but both goalies managed to fend off their respective opposing team.  Coach, Joel Quenneville juggled his lines around to try anything to generate some scoring chances, but to no avail.  Andrew Shaw shouldered Francois Beauchemin in the head, midway through the 3rd that took Beahchemin out of the game.  That put the Hawks on a penalty kill which the team did not need at that point in the game.  From there, the Avalanche played a defensive game and played it well.  The Blackhawks would empty the net with 3 minutes to go, but Gabriel Landeskog would add an empty net goal to give the Avalance the 3-0, shutout, win.  Throughout the game, they out-hustled the Hawks to loose pucks, won board battles, and therefore, won the game.

Notable mentions: Patrick Kane's 26-game scoring streak came to an end.  It was the longest since Mats Sundin went 30 games in a row while playing for the Quebec Nordiques. Corey Crawford's scoreless streak was broken at 155 minutes, 16 seconds when Duchene opened the scoring in the 1st.  Semyon Varlamov in his career against the Blackhawks is now 11-3-0 with 3 shutouts.  Marian Hossa was the bright spot for the Hawks tonight as he played a good game on both sides of the ice.  He led all skaters with 6 shots.

Three Stars of The Game
1st - COL - Semyon Varlamov (29 saves, shutout)
2nd - COL - Matt Duchene (1G  +2)
3rd - COL - Gabriel Landeskog (1G 1A) +2

Next Game: Thursday, December 17th, Home vs. Edmonton Oilers, 7:30pm


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