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The Colorado Avalanche end Chicago’s 45-point streak

It finally happened  the Chicago Blackhawks are no longer undefeated in regulation.

After nearly getting a win in Chicago on Wednesday, the Colorado Avalanche hosted the undefeated (in regulation) Blackhawks in a tightly played second game of a home-and-home series. Visiting a packed Pepsi Center, the crowd was anxious to see the Avs get a second shot in two days at ending the 45 point, 21 game regulation win streak the Blackhawks were on. The Avs then went on to turn an early 0-1 game into a crushing 6-2 defeat of the record setting team as the crowd began chanting “End the streak” with less than two minutes to go in the third.

The Blackhawks walked into a trap game. It’s that simple. The Avs were just too bitter from their loss on Wednesday, having a 2-1 lead disappear on them in the first game. It only set up the final chapter for the end of the streak to have them play each other again with the Avs at home. There was no way Colorado was going to let that slide. But in order for them to pull it out, they weren’t going to be able to do it playing the same old song and dance.

The Avalanche before Friday night was a quick, young unpolished crew with flashes of brilliance. Friday night was a lot of speed, tenacious pressure with all the luck and brilliance they could find. Just about everyone received a stat bump whether it was a goal, an assist or an uptick in the plus/minus column. Ryan O’Reilly picked up his first goal and assist of the season after his holdout, Matt Duchene picked up his ninth goal and three assists. Paul Stastny was there to, so were Jamie McGinn, John Mitchell and PA Parenteau, each with goals.

The only one noticeably absent from the scorecard –aside from Chicago’s forwards- was Avalanche Captain Gabriel Landeskog who still had two great breakaway chances that resulted in Corey Crawford saves.

Things got ugly in a hurry and brought the streak to a grinding halt as Crawford was hit hard, a night he would just as soon forget. Jonathan Toews didn’t have an answer after his 1st period goal. No one had an answer for the avalanche of goals that Colorado unleashed in the second period.

The Colorado Avalanche end Chicago's 45-point streak
Colorado Avalanche forward John Mitchell celebrates his second period goal as the Avs overcame an 0-1 deficit in the first period to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 on Friday night, ending Chicago’s 45-point streak.

Despite missing their captain, Semyon Varlamov was able to fight off the offense the Hawks could muster up, blocking 31 of 33 for a .939 save percentage. Varlamov has needed this kind of help all season; the Russian netminder could be a top ten goalie if he had a better defense in front of him to keep their zone more contested. Varlamov deserves plenty of credit for fighting off the Hawks potent offense.

What the Blackhawks did is a permanent record that will be difficult to top. Their streak brought some extra attention to a league that wasn’t even on the ice two months ago.

The Avalanche did the inevitable and became a piece of that story the Blackhawks wrote for the first half of the 2013 NHL season. The Colorado Avalanche were the first to defeat Chicago in regulation after 25 games.

Cory Whitmer

Cory Whitmer

Cory is a 27-year old aspiring sportswriter and Convergent Journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Some could call him a cynic, he likes to think of himself as a sports realist. An avid Denver sports fan, he doesn't hold back, even on his home teams. Check out his Colorado Rockies blog:
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