Blackhawks avenge loss to Avalanche
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Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery celebrates with Brandon Saad during Monday night's victory.
The Blackhawks didn't need to be reminded about what happened the last time they were in Denver to play the Avalanche.
It was March 8, and the Avs scored 4 goals in the second period en route to a 6-2 victory that ended the Hawks' 24-game point streak.
The Hawks were back at the Pepsi Center on Monday night looking for revenge, and they got it, winning 5-2 behind goals from Jimmy Hayes, Andrew Shaw, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews.
Duncan Keith admitted the Hawks were ready for the Avs this time.
"I think so, yeah," Keith said. "They came out pretty hard against us last time we were here. It seemed like they had a lot of motivation to end our streak. We came out hard tonight and we played a lot better than the last time we were in here."
Kane had 3 points for the second straight game. Toews also had 3 points.
"He (Kane) had the puck a lot tonight and he was dangerous," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters. "He made some nice plays and was very efficient."
In the last meeting, the Avs turned the game to their favor by scoring those 4 goals in the second period.
"We just gave up too many scoring chances," Toews said of the last game. "We can't leave our goaltenders hanging like that. We gave up too many quality chances. That's a skilled team, and they made us pay. In that second period we didn't have our legs out there. We were flat-footed."
The Hawks (24-2-3) played tighter defensively, barely giving the Avs a sniff around the net. The Hawks took a quick 2-0 lead this time on first-period goals by Hayes and Shaw 57 seconds apart.
Hayes opened the scoring at 3:47 when he backhanded a pass from Kane over goalie Semyon Varlamov after Dave Bolland pressured defenseman Jan Hejda into a turnover.
Shaw made it 2-0 at 4:44 when he beat Varlamov on a feed from Viktor Stalberg. Bryan Bickell also earned an assist by taking a hit in the neutral zone to create a 2-on-1.
Colorado got a short-handed goal from Gabriel Landeskog with 34 seconds left in the first period. Landeskog flashed his superior speed to get around Brent Seabrook inside the blue line, cut in on Ray Emery and scored.
Quenneville sat Seabrook for a good chunk of the second period.
The Hawks finished the game without Marian Hossa, who took a hard check along the boards from Ryan O'Byrne late in the first period and didn't return. It also was O'Byrne who took out Patrick Sharp on March 7 with a hard check.
"He's not bad," Quenneville said of Hossa. "We'll say he's day to day, upper body. We'll see (about Wednesday at Anaheim)."
Kane scored his 16th goal of the season early in the second period when he beat Varlamov from just off the goal line left after Toews rushed the net.
Seabrook made it 4-1 at 14:40 of the second when he one-timed a pass from Kane past Varlamov.
The Avs got within 4-2 before the second period was over on a goal by Milan Hejduk, but Toews got that back late in the third.
The Avs, who have dropped four in a row, came into the game last in the Western Conference standings.
"We know they're a good team," Stalberg told Blackhawks TV. "They're not looking too good in the standings, but they are playing well and seem to give us a tough game every night."
The Hawks are 13-1-2 on the road.
• Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.
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