December 19, 2019 / 3:58 AM / a month ago

Avalanche maintain mastery of Blackhawks

Nov 17, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Rasmus Asplund (74) warms up before a game against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mikko Rantanen and Ian Cole had a goal and an assist apiece, and Pavel Francouz made 31 saves to lead the visiting Colorado Avalanche to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

Nathan MacKinnon and Andre Burakovsky also scored goals while Gabriel Landeskog had two assists for Colorado, which improved to 9-1-1 over its last 11 games. The Avalanche have won all three meetings with the Blackhawks this season, outscoring them 16-6 in the process.

Ryan Carpenter scored for Chicago, which lost for the fifth time in six games (1-4-1). Corey Crawford stopped 32 of the 35 shots he faced.

Colorado took a 1-0 lead at the 8:41 mark of the first period. Cole blasted a shot from just inside the middle of the blue line into the left corner past Crawford’s blocker side for his second goal of the season.

Chicago came back to tie it just 67 seconds later. Alex DeBrincat forced a turnover and set up Carpenter, who then drilled a shot from the bottom of the right circle over Francouz’s glove for his second goal of the season.

MacKinnon put the Avalanche back in front at 7:49 of the second period. He split a pair of defenders on a rush and then clanged in a wrist shot from the middle of the right circle into the top left corner for his 21st goal of the season.

Burakovsky made it 3-1 a few minutes later. He knocked down a puck in the neutral zone and then carried it into the offensive zone. Burakovsky fired a left-handed wrist shot from the right circle through the legs of defenseman Olli Maatta and under the crossbar for his 13th goal of the season.

Chicago pulled Crawford for an extra attacker with 3:14 remaining in the third period, and Rantanen sealed the win with an empty-netter from mid-ice just 18 seconds later, his 10th goal of the season.

—Field Level Media

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