NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Chicago
(Sunday, December 17th)
Final Score: Chicago 2, Colorado 1
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Adrian Aucoin's power-play goal in the second period proved to be the game-winner as the Chicago Blackhawks bested the Colorado Avalanche, 2-1.
Nikolai Khabibulin made 28 saves in the win. He maintained Chicago's one-goal lead with just over six minutes to play when he robbed Milan Hejduk from in close and came up with several clutch saves after Colorado pulled its goaltender as time ticked down.
Aucoin's goal was his second of the year while Tuomo Ruutu scored his 10th of the season for Chicago, which has won four of its last five games.
"I hadn't played in a while and the goal ended a lot of frustration," said Aucoin, who had missed the last 11 games with a pulled groin. "It was a fun game even though it was tight."
Brett McLean scored Colorado's lone goal, his sixth of the year, and Jose Theodore made 23 saves for the Avalanche, who had a three-game winning streak halted.
"The game was very frustrating," Hejduk said. "It was a big conference game for us. We needed to win and we didn't do it."
The Blackhawks scored the lone goal of the first period. Martin Havlat set the goal up as he carried around the back of the net before whipping a shot on goal from the low right side. The rebound came all the way out into the slot to Ruutu, who beat Theodore with 5:12 left.
Theodore came up with a big save early in the second when he stopped Jeff Hamilton on a breakaway attempt.
Colorado then netted the equalizer 6:13 into the period. Tyler Arnason took a feed at the top of the right circle as he turned a shot the puck on net. McLean was stationed in front and he redirected the shot past Khabibulin.
Chicago went back in front after a power-play goal by Aucoin. With Patrice Brisebois in the box for hooking, Duncan Keith sent a pass from down low to Aucoin, who rocketed a slapshot from the point through traffic and by Theodore with 5:02 to go in the second.
Colorado had won its last three home games...Ruutu scored a goal for the third straight game...Colorado's Joe Sakic and Andrew Brunette both had five-game points streaks snapped...Chicago finished 1-for-3 on the power play while Colorado was 0-for-2.
12/17 21:44:33 ET