With four second period goals, and six goals in 30:15, the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 in yesterday’s Game of the Day.
The Hawks‘ offense blitz did not get started until the 8:27 mark of the first when Brandon Mashinter opened the scoring off assists from Ryan Garbutt (his fourth helper of the season) and Dennis Rasmussen. The other goal of the period came with 3:38 remaining on the clock, as Second Star of the Game Patrick Kane scored off assists from Artemi Panarin (his 24th assist of the season) and Trevor van Riemsdyk to set the score at 2-0, which held into the intermission.
Chicago continued their success into the second, scoring only 1:39 after resuming play. It was First Star Marian Hossa with the tally, assisted by Niklas Hjalmarsson and Jonathan Toews (his 14th assist of the season). Colorado finally got on the board with a goal from Third Star Matt Duchene, assisted by Carl Soderberg (his 22nd helper of the season) and Gabriel Landeskog. Duchene struck only 4:08 later to set the score at 3-2 after being assisted by Alex Tanguay and Nathan MacKinnon (his 22nd assist of the season). Two-straight Avalanche goals didn’t seem to make the Blackhawks very happy, as they fired three-straight of their own before the second period ended. The first was a Kane power play goal at the 12:25 mark, his 25th goal of the season, assisted by Brent Seabrook and Artem Anisimov, which proved to be the game-winner. The next Hawk goal came only 2:06 later, Toews’ 16th tally, assisted by Andrew Shaw and Erik Gustafsson. Chicago completed their surge with 1:18 remaining in the period with Hossa’s second goal of the night, assisted by Toews (his 15th assist of the season) and Shaw to set the score at 6-2.
Colorado could only manage one goal in the final period, compliments of MacKinnon after assists from Duchene (his 16th of the season) and Nick Holden, setting the score at the 6-3 final.
Corey Crawford’s record improves to 23-10-2 after saving 34 of 37 (91.9%), while Semyon Varlamov’s record falls to 15-11-3 after saving 16 of 20 (80%). He was pulled after 32:25 of play following Kane’s second goal of the night, and replaced by Calvin Pickard, who saved 13 of 15 (86.7%).
The DtFR Game of the Day series now stands at 36-19-8, favoring the home squads by 22 points over the roadies.
After a busy weekend, this Monday’s schedule consists of only four games, with the action getting started at 7 p.m. eastern when Boston visits the New York Rangers (NHLN/TVAS/SN). The rest of the games don’t get started for at least another two hours, as San Jose and Calgary drop the puck at 9 p.m. eastern. 10 p.m. eastern brings with it the beginning of the Florida at Vancouver game, followed half an hour later by this evening’s nightcap, Detroit at Los Angeles.
San Jose at Calgary represents the only divisional rivalry being played this evening, and the remaining matchups are all between teams currently qualifying for the playoffs.
I know we’ve watched both of these teams recently, one as recent as Saturday, but a team qualifying only for a wild card spot always has a little more to play for, so let’s take a look at the Boston–New York game.
The Boston Bruins have been featured eight times before tonight’s game in the DtFR Game of the Day series, and own a 3-4-1 record in such games, with their most recent showing being a 4-1 victory in New Jersey on Friday. The New York Rangers are tied with Chicago for the most appearances in the series, and own a 6-3-2 record when the focus of our attention. Their most recent game in the series was a 4-3 overtime loss to the Capitals on Saturday.
The 21-14-5 Boston Bruins currently sit in fourth place in the Atlantic Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference and, most importantly, the first wild card position. An in-depth explanation of their game may be read here, but the important thing to know is Boston is one of the best offensive teams in the league.
Their most recent showing was a 2-1 overtime loss in Ottawa on Saturday.
The 22-14-5 New York Rangers currently own second place in the Metropolitan Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. Similar to the Bruins, the Blueshirts also play a strongly offensive game, which you can read more about here.
The Rangers‘ most recent game was their 4-3 overtime loss to the Capitals in Saturday’s Game of the Day. You can read a quick-and-dirty recap of that game here.
These two have already met up once this season, a 4-3 Boston win the day after Thanksgiving in the TD Garden. Although the Rangers had the lead twice, they were not able to hold on for the victory, and will utilize those sour memories as inspiration to level the season series.
Some players to watch in this one include Boston‘s Tuukka Rask (four shutouts [tied for third-most in the leauge]) and New York‘s Henrik Lundqvist (18 wins [tied for fifth-best in the league]).
Both of these teams play similar styles of play – good defenses supported by strong offenses. That being said, the B’s have done better on both ends than their opponents, and I believe that will be the difference in this one. I expect this Original Six matchup to go the way of the Bruins.