It doesn’t require an accountant taking a successful turn as a fill-in NHL goalie to figure out that the Chicago Blackhawks found trouble Friday night when putting the Colorado Avalanche on the power play.
Scoring its first three goals with the man advantage, Colorado picked up two points it had to have, blanking Chicago 5-0 at Pepsi Center in Denver.
Rebounding from a tough 2-1 loss at home Wednesday night against Philadelphia, the Avalanche won their 42nd game and improved to 92 points. That jumped them over St. Louis for fourth place in the Central Division, pending the outcome of the Blues’ game at Vegas.
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks weren’t able to follow up a 6-2 rout of Winnipeg on Thursday with another victory against a contender. They got an unexpected boost late in that game from emergency goalie Scott Foster, who replaced the injured Collin Delia with 14:01 left and stopped all seven shots from the high-powered Jets to seal the outcome.
The 36-year old Foster, whose last competitive hockey game was 12 years ago at Western Michigan, could have been used by Chicago in this one. Delia did face his share of rubber, making 31 saves, but put himself in a bind with a tripping minor at 17:45 of the first period.
Sven Andrighetto cashed in with a brilliant rush from his blue line through all four Blackhawks defenders, roofing a wrister at 18:54 for the first of his two goals.
Tyson Barrie made it 2-0 at 8:14 of the second period with his 13th goal, taking Mikko Rantanen’s feed at the point and blasting a one-timer that caromed off Delia’s left pad and into the net.
Rantanen bagged his 28th marker at 6:25 of the third period with a slapper from the right circle off Nathan MacKinnon’s third assist. Tyson Jost tacked on insurance at 8:39 with his 10th goal of the season, converting on a wrister from the left circle. Andrighetto finished the scoring with his eighth tally at 17:51.
Semyon Varlamov, who missed Wednesday night’s game due to illness, stopped 33 shots for his third shutout of the season.
—Field Level Media