Avalanche bury Chicago; Blackhawks' point streak ends
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Matt Duchene totaled a goal and three assists, and the Colorado Avalanche used a four-goal second-period burst to put a pair of monumental Chicago streaks to rest in a 6-2 victory over the Blackhawks at Pepsi Center.
Coming into Friday, Chicago had gone 24 games from the start of this truncated season with at least one point (21-0-3) and also won a franchise- record 11 consecutive outings.
But Duchene, John Mitchell, Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn all lit the lamp to turn a tie game after one period into a 5-1 advantage and the hosts cruised from there.
"What a special run they had. It was cool to end it here. We can enjoy it for tonight, but then we have to get back to work," Duchene said immediately following the signature victory for the franchise in the post-Joe Sakic era.
PA Parenteau and Paul Stastny added a score and two helpers each for the Avalanche, who won for just the second time in their last eight.
Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves for his first win in three starts.
Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell scored for the Blackhawks, who hadn't lost in regulation since a 6-1 setback at home to Nashville on Mar. 25, 2012 -- an incredible stretch of 30 games.
Corey Crawford gave up five goals on 19 shots in 40 minutes to suffer the defeat. Ray Emery stopped 11-of-12 chances in the third.
"It's a great accomplishment, having different ways of winning night in and night out and seeing contributions from all different players," said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. "It was a lot of fun right up until today. Our opponents treated it like it was something different, and we welcomed the challenge."
Duchene's backhander snuck by Crawford as he hugged the right post, giving the Avs a 2-1 edge at 4:16 of the second period. On the following shift, O'Reilly fed Mitchell for an easy score on the left side to make it 3-1 just 33 seconds later.
Crawford stoned Stastny on a breakaway three minutes later, but was powerless to stop an O'Reilly blast from the right circle on a power play at 10:47.
McGinn's top-shelf wrister pushed the Colorado edge to 5-1. Duchene won a battle with Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith in the right corner, and fed back to the 24-year-old for his first tally since Feb. 18.
"It happened before when 'Duchy' gets that puck so fast. It was a great play by him, and he just made it so easy for me to take the shot," McGinn noted.
Bickell's one-timer from a sharp angle in the right circle pulled Chicago within 5-2 at 8:53 of the third period, but Parenteau restored the four-goal edge on a rip from the left circle with 4:14 remaining.
It was a marked difference from Wednesday's match at United Center, when the Avs led 2-1 after two periods and the Blackhawks eked out a 3-2 win thanks to a Dan Carcillo score with 49.3 seconds left in regulation.
"It's not like we were riding some bus on a crazy trip. We took it one game at a time, and we're proud of what we've done," Keith admitted.
Toews gave the visitors a lead with 5:44 played in the first, tapping home a Marian Hossa feed at the right post.
Stastny evened things at 16:36, when he skated between the circles and redirected a Duchene offering for a power-play marker.
Duchene recorded his second career four-point game, having done so initially on Nov. 4, 2011 (3G, 1A) in a 7-6 overtime loss in Dallas ... Prior to the game, the Blackhawks announced that forward Patrick Sharp will be absent for 3-to-4 weeks with an upper-body injury reported to be a shoulder issue ... Stastny's tally was Colorado's first on the advantage in the last six games, and Friday marked the first time all year the Avalanche registered two goals with the man advantage ... Colorado welcomed back defenseman Erik Johnson after an 11-game absence due to a head injury ... The Avalanche also matched a season high for goals in one game, set in a 6-3 win at Calgary on Jan. 31 and again on Feb. 18 in a 6-5 win over Nashville.
03/09 00:15:30 ET