Avalanche closing in on Blackhawks
CHICAGO – Tyson Barrie scored a tiebreaking power-play goal with 7:10 left in the third period, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Tuesday night for their third straight win.
The Avalanche reached the 40-victory mark faster than any team in franchise history. They also improved to 3-1 against the Blackhawks this season, and moved within one point of the Stanley Cup champions for second in the Central Division.
Barrie got open in the left circle and one-timed Erik Johnson's perfect cross-ice feed high past Corey Crawford on the glove side. It was Barrie's second game-winner against Chicago this season, following an overtime goal against the Blackhawks on Jan. 14.
Paul Stastny completed the scoring with an empty-netter with 32.6 seconds left. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon got an assist on Stastny's 20th goal, extending his point streak to 12 games, tying Wayne Gretzky's record for an 18-year-old set in 1979-80.
Ryan O'Reilly and Maxime Talbot also scored for the Avalanche, who are 17-6-1 in a 24-game stretch dating to New Year's Eve. O'Reilly has three goals and three assists in his last four games.
Ben Smith and Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago, which was without veteran forward Marian Hossa. Toews has three goals in his last two games.
Hossa left Saturday night's 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh at Soldier Field with an upper-body injury, and is expected to miss 2 to 3 weeks. Brandon Saad moved up again to take Hossa's spot on the right side of Chicago's top line with center Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp.