NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Chicago
(Sunday, March 8th)
Final Score: Colorado 5, Chicago 1
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Peter Budaj was solid between the pipes, making 24 saves, and Colorado used an avalanche of goals to bury the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-1, and put to rest a six-game losing streak.
Milan Hejduk, Ryan Smyth, Ben Guite, Chris Stewart and Marek Svatos each lit the lamp for the Avalanche, who also snapped a five-game skid on the road.
"It was our best game in a month," Budaj said. "We played really well. We had a strong game. We did our jobs and followed the game plan."
Jonathan Toews notched a power-play goal for the Blackhawks, who have dropped five of their last seven games. Antti Niemi was victimized for five goals on 29 shots in defeat.
"We have to find ways to get energy at the start of games," said Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith. "The last couple games we haven't been good at the start. Every game is a chance to get better. Everybody is talking playoffs, but they're a month away and we have to be better. Every game is important. We don't need a tailspin now."
Chicago, which hasn't made the playoffs since 2001-02, is still fourth in the Western Conference with 81 points on the season.
Colorado drew first blood with 6:26 left in the opening frame. Ruslan Salei fired a rising shot from the outer edge of the right circle that went off the glove of Guite, who was positioned in the blue paint.
Stewart made it 2-0 with 2:59 remaining in the first period. Adam Foote's drive from the point was knocked down by Chicago pivot Dave Bolland. Tyler Arnason then made a quick dish to Stewart for an easy tap-in.
Toews tucked the rebound of a Cam Barker point shot in on the backhand, cutting the deficit in half at 6:53 of the middle stanza.
A sizzling wrister off the stick of Hejduk from between the circles made it 3-1 with exactly four minutes remaining, and it was 4-1 in favor of the visitors when Svatos fired a laser from the right circle with 1:26 to go in the second period.
Smyth had the lone tally in the third period.
Arnason finished with three assists...Chicago right winger Martin Havlat left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return.
03/08 18:17:59 ET