Mar 4, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp (10) is defended by Colorado Avalanche right wing Marc-Andre Cliche (24) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
The Blackhawks took to the ice at the United Center for the first time in over a calendar month on Tuesday night to take on their Divisional rival, the Colorado Avalanche. The Blackhawks played the first period like they normally do, total puck possession domination. The only problem with the first period for the Hawks is they didn’t get one in the net even though they outshot the Avs in the first period 11-3. The Hawks even forced two powerplays but the first one was brutal to watch with only one shot on goal in the final seconds of the two man advantage, and the second one finished off the period without much to show for. The good part was keeping only a couple of pucks off of Crawford and his Stadium Series pads. The defense was stingy now the offense needs to get their act together for the 2nd period.
The second period didn’t start off the way the first period ended well except for the fact that the Blackhawks controlled most of the play. The Colorado Avalanche got on the board when Maxime Talbot tipped in a puck right through Corey Crawford’s 5 hole to give the Avalanche the first goal of the lead. The Blackhawks finally got the tying goal when Ben Smith walked off the boards and beat Semyon Varlamov. The Hawks have been the better team for much of the night but it will take a strong third period to get two points even though the ice has tilted in their favor for 40 minutes.
The third period was a rerun of the second period with Ryan O’Reilly beating Crawford 5 hold after a Duncan Keith turnover giving the Av’s the lead again. The Hawks got the game back to even with a very nice pass from Patrick Sharp cross ice to Jonathan Toews who didn’t miss. This had all the makings of an overtime game, but Johnny Oduya took a penalty late in the game and Colorado took full advantage and then grabbed the lead at 3-2 and after an empty net goal never relinquished the lead.
This was another game where it felt like the Blackhawks controlled all of the action and yet the few chances the Avs had they capitalized and in the end skated away with 2 points and the Hawks have now played 3 games after the Olympic Break and only have 2 points to show for it.
Deadline Day is right around the corner.