The Colorado Avalanche stunned the Chicago Blackhawks Monday night at Pepsi Center with a 7-5 win over the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. This was the second time this season the two teams have met. The Avs opened the regular season against the Hawks with a 4-3 win in overtime.
Tonight’s game proved to be just as close as the Blackhawks were able to equalize after the Avalanche took the lead four times. Chicago would finally take the lead halfway through the third period only to allow three goals in the final three minutes.
Avalanche forward Matt Duchene continued his excellent play with eight of his last 11 goals coming in the past 10 games.
“It’s a whirlwind when you get a few goals in the last two minutes. It was huge for us,” said Duchene. “Once we got the tying goal, we had new life and we really took it to them. It’s unbelievable how many goals we got tonight.”
The third line for the Avalanche also continued to produce tonight. Forward Phillipe Dupuis fed a pass to Cody McLeod who was moving in the slot towards Chicago goaltender Marty Turco. This was a response to Jack Skille’s game tying goal 23 seconds earlier.
Colorado Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco was glad to see depth in his team.
“Any time you can get secondary scoring like that it’s real important for your team,” he said. “I think it gives the team a little boost too.”
Corey Crawford was called in to relieve Turco after Duchene scored 40 seconds into the second period. The Chicago goaltender was able to hold off Colorado until the final three minutes of play. He saved 17 of the 19 shots he faced.
Unlike Turco, Avalanche goaltender Craig Anderson was able to redeem himself by saving 29 of the 34 shots he faced.
“The win sweeps everything under the rug,” Anderson said. “Obviously I could be better. I’ve got to make some first shot saves. At the same time, our guys did a great job of clawing away to win and all that matters is we got the two points.”
Even though Anderson let five pucks into the net, Sacco still has faith in his goaltender.
“I know Craig. I know that he’ll be good for us,” he said.
A win like this also shows that anything can happen.
“We’re never out of a game I think we’ve made that pretty clear here,” said Sacco.
The Avalanche continue a home-and-home series with the Blackhawks on Wednesday in Chicago before returning home on Friday to host the Ottawa Senators.