Avs throttle Hawks for second straight night, 7-3
The Colorado Avalanche scored 7 unanswered goals, 4 of which came in less than eight minutes in the second period, en route to an easy 7-3 victory over the Blackhawks at the Pepsi Center on Saturday.
The Hawks dropped both games of the home-and-home series to the Avs by a combined 12-5 score.
The Hawks, who were without Duncan Keith (groin) and Dylan Strome (concussion), were unable to contain a host of lightning-fast skaters who all fired bull's-eyes past Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford all night.
"They've got some players on the point that can really jump into the play and make life difficult for you," Patrick Kane told reporters afterward. "Even when they ... turn it over, it seems like they backcheck pretty well too.
"All around, they work hard and play fast. A lesson we can take."
Things got off to a good start for coach Jeremy Colliton's squad, with Brandon Saad scoring short-handed just 1:37 into the contest.
But after that, it was all Colorado.
Lehner, who made just 9 saves and was pulled after Mikko Rantanen made it 5-1 at 5:50 of the second period, shouted down the Hawks' bench as he headed to the dressing room.
"It's nothing personal," Lehner said. "We really like each other in here. All the guys care about each other; it's a good group. It's 5-1 five minutes into the second and we're not playing well enough. I don't know exactly what I said. Probably said that we have to wake up. ... It's nothing directed to any person or anyone or not toward myself. It's embarrassing. ...
"I hate losing. I think a lot of us don't like losing. There's nothing wrong to hold each other accountable."
Trailing 3-1, the Hawks had a golden opportunity to get back in the game but failed to score on a 58-second two-man advantage late in the first period. They then did nothing with 2:37 of power-play time to open the second period, and Colorado went up 4-1 on a Joonas Donskoi goal at 2:52. Kane and Alex Nylander were beaten down ice by Donskoi, who took a perfect pass from Ryan Graves and easily beat Lehner.
"That was a dagger," Colliton said, "and it kind of snowballed from there."
Donskoi scored twice and had 2 assists for Colorado, which has won eight of 11 and climbed into second place in the Central Division. Nazek Kadri also had 2 goals, and Rantanen had a 4-point night in his first action since Oct. 21.
The last-place Hawks (10-11-5) now face a pair of division-leading teams in St. Louis (17-5-6) and Boston (18-3-5).
The Hawks' other goals came from Dominik Kubalik and Kane. Kane extended his point streak to 15 on his power-play tally at 14:38 of the third period.