Hawks' streak stopped cold
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A dispirited Marian Hossa walks off the ice after the Blackhawks were spanked 6-2 by the Colorado Avalanche Friday night.
It's all over.
Say goodbye to every one of the Blackhawks' streaks.
Playing their sixth game in nine nights and in the altitude of Denver, it all caught up to the Hawks on Friday night as they were spanked 6-2 by the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
Their first regulation loss came in their 25th game and snapped the Hawks' 11-game winning streak, a franchise record, and 24-game point streak to start the season, an NHL mark.
It was the first time in 31 games dating back to last season where the Hawks lost in regulation, leaving them five games short of matching the NHL record of 35 games set by the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers.
"We should be very proud of what we accomplished," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters. "It was a great accomplishment from start to finish. We found some different ways to win night in and night out. Everybody contributed to something that hadn't been done.
"It's a great feather in our cap, but let's move forward here and try to get better as we go along. Certainly it was a lot of fun up until today and we should be proud."
Jonathan Toews opened the scoring at 5:44 of the first period, but it was all Avs after that. Colorado scored 4 goals in the second period, getting 2 goals from Matt Duchene and John Mitchell 33 seconds apart early in the period.
The Hawks made some mistakes in the second period they hadn't made all year.
"Whether it was with the puck or without the puck, they're a quick team and are dangerous off the rush," Quenneville said. "They cashed in off the rush tonight. Managing the puck probably led to some of them as well.
"Whether it was fatigue or altitude here, we're in our toughest stretch of the year. Let's regroup here and get ready for Sunday."
Toews capped a nifty passing play with linemates Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad by firing the puck past Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov early in the first period.
The Avs tied it on a power play at 16:56 of the first period when Paul Stasny redirected a pass from Duchene past Corey Crawford.
The second period was a disaster for the Hawks as the Avs got goals from Duchene, Mitchell, Ryan O'Reilly on a power play and Jamie McGinn.
"Every game we've been in lately has been a playoff environment," Quenneville told Blackhawks TV before the game. "The intensity has been like a playoff game, almost like a Game 7 mentality for our opponents. That's the challenge we've been facing. It seems like that's been our opponents' attitude."
It was 3-1 when a tripping penalty to Crawford led to O'Reilly's goal, a rocket from the right side. Duchene started the play by beating Marcus Kruger on a faceoff to Crawford's left and getting the puck to Stastny.
That goal was a killer.
Duchene was the night's star with a goal and 3 assists.
Ray Emery replaced Crawford to start the third period and allowed P.A. Parenteau's goal with 4:14 left after Bryan Bickell had brought the Hawks within 5-2 with his fourth goal in five games.
• Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone.
and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.
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