stats-recaps1
National Hockey League
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DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche are headed for another early vacation; but, against one of the top teams in the league, they played like they want to get there on a roll.

Erik Johnson scored at 1:57 of overtime and the Avalanche rallied to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Matt Duchene had a goal and two assists and Gabriel Landeskog and Mikhail Grigorenko also scored for Colorado, which dominated play for most of the night but had to scratch back from a 3-0 deficit to win for just the 13th time at home.

"I loved the way our team pushed back," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "We played hard the whole night, pretty dangerous offensively. Everyone was pulling on the rope in the same direction tonight. I liked our intensity. I liked a lot of things about that game."

Marcus Kruger had a goal and an assist and Artemi Panarin and Ryan Hartman scored for Chicago (50-22-8).

The Blackhawks' chance at winning the Presidents' Trophy ended when Washington beat Toronto earlier Tuesday night. Chicago has home-ice advantage through the Western Conference playoffs.

The Blackhawks had conceded the crown to the Capitals and have started preparing for the playoffs by managing minutes. Defenseman Duncan Keith was given Tuesday night off, the first game he has not played all season, as coach Joel Quenneville tries to rest some of his players ahead of the start of next week's postseason.

With nothing more to accomplish in the regular season, Chicago was ripe for an off night.

"It is hard focusing," Chicago right winger Richard Panik said. "It is just another game. But we have to play better than we did this game, because you can't just turn a switch on and it will come back for the playoffs."

The Avalanche (22-54-3) are trying to gain some positives out of a disappointing season. They had a season-high 51 shots and rallied from a three-goal deficit in the second to tie it in the third.

The total shots were the most Colorado has recorded since Nov. 10, 2011.

Duchene set up the equalizer with a spinning pass to the slot and Grigorenko's tip went over Darling's left shoulder at 5:46.

Johnson scored the winner when he skated behind the Chicago defense and beat Darling for his second goal of the season.

"There's so much room 3-on-3," he said. "I got some speed and (Marian) Hossa's a fast player in his own right, and I tried to get going as fast as I could. I tried to make a move to the net, and luckily it went in."

Duchene's three-point night ended a long drought for the young veteran. He had just one goal in the previous 21 games and recorded his first assist in 22 games.

"I'm going to be stronger for that streak," Duchene said. "It's a bit of adversity and a good learning experience to go through."

Darling had a career-high 47 saves and Calvin Pickard stopped 24 shots for Colorado.

The teams combined for five goals in the second period after a scoreless first period in which Colorado outshot Chicago 16-3.

Panarin started it with a goal 28 seconds into the period, Hartman scored at 4:15 and Kruger's breakaway goal at 10:57 gave Chicago a 3-0 lead.

Hartman, a rookie, has 19 goals and is one away from giving Chicago seven 20-goal scorers.

"We can have guys up and down the lineup scoring goals," he said. "In close games, it can really help, and it can put you far into the playoffs."

The Avalanche, who have struggled to score on the power play all season, chipped away at the lead with two short-handed goals. Duchene got them on the board with his 18th at 12:16, and Landeskog made it 3-2 when he got his own rebound and scored on a wraparound at 16:31.

NOTES: Chicago C Artem Anisimov and D Niklas Hjalmarsson did not make the trip to Colorado. Anisimov has missed 11 games with a lower-body injury and Hjalmarrson stayed home to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple's second child. ... Avalanche RW Blake Comeau and D Anton Lindholm (head) were scratched. RW rookie Mikko Rantanen was also scratched with a lower-body injury. C Joe Colborne, a healthy scratch the previous three games, was in the lineup.
Top Game Performances
 
Chicago   Colorado
Marcus Kruger 2 Points Matt Duchene 3
Marcus Kruger 1 Goals Matt Duchene 1
Marcus Kruger 1 Assists Matt Duchene 2
Artemi Panarin 1 Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals Matt Duchene 1
Scott Darling .922 Save Percentage Calvin Pickard .889
Scott Darling 47 Saves Calvin Pickard 24
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Chicago 27 3 1-3 4-4 8 24
Colorado 51 4 0-4 2-3 6 44
Upcoming Games
  • Colorado will play their next game at home against Minnesota. The Avalanche have a W/L % of .227 after a win and .298 after a loss.
  • Chicago will play their next game on the road against Anaheim. The Blackhawks have a W/L % of .660 after a win and .567 after a loss.