Cleat Geeks

Varlamov Blanks Kane, Hawks; Avs Win 3rd Straight

The Colorado Avalanche’s brief divisional road trip came to an end on Tuesday in the Windy City against the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Avs picked up wins in Nashville on Saturday and St. Louis on Sunday, and they look to complete the sweep in Chicago.#9Avs

In what seems like a trend for the team lately, the Avs scored first. Matt Duchene scored in the first period to give the Avs a 1-0 lead; his team leading 16th goal of the season, with the assists coming from Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon. The Avs came close a number of times in that same period to doubling the lead, but in the second period, Zach Redmond picked up his first goal of the season to make it 2-0. The assists came from Blake Comeau and Francois Beauchemin. Speaking of Beauchemin, he was hit hard twice in the game, with the second hit being a head-to-head shot from the Blackhawks’ Andrew Shaw, which had Beauchemin heading to the back.

The story of the game, of course, was Patrick Kane. Kane entered the game on a 26-game points streak; the longest streak for an American-born player in NHL history, but with Semyon Varlamov stopping the Blackhawks’ at the doorstep throughout the second and third, the streak was in jeopardy with every tick of the clock. Goaltender Corey Crawford was pulled for the extra attacker, but Gabriel Landeskog’s one-timer into the empty net iced it for the Avalanche. And with 11 seconds left in regulation, Kane was taken out of the game, officially ending his points streak as the Avalanche won, 3-0.patrickKane2

For Varlamov, who struggled for most of the season, it was his first shutout of the season, as he stopped all 29 shots from the Blackhawks. For the Avalanche, it was the continuation of a series of wins over the Blackhawks dating back to the shortened 2013 season, when the Avalanche became the first team that season to defeat the Blackhawks in regulation. The Avalanche have won three straight games for the second time this season, and have won seven of their last 10 games. Tuesday’s win puts the Avs at 15-16-1; one win short of the .500 mark.

The Avalanche return home on Thursday to face the New York Islanders; the first of a four game homestand. 11 of the Avs’ next 13 games are at home.

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