NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, January 14th
(All times Eastern)
Colorado Avalanche (28-12-5) at Chicago Blackhawks (30-8-10), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks were able to laugh off Patrick
Kane's own-goal blunder in a victory on Sunday, but the forward's goal drought
is earning fewer laughs.
Kane looks to get going on Tuesday night as the Blackhawks host the Colorado
The 25-year-old is tied for second in the NHL with 56 points, including 23
goals, but has not lit the lamp in seven straight games. He did, however, put
the puck into the net in Sunday's 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers, but it
happened to be his own.
With netminder Antti Raanta off the ice for an extra attacker on a delayed
penalty, Kane sent the puck up the boards to the point, but no Chicago player
was there. Instead, the disc rolled all the way down the ice and into the open
cage, giving the Oilers a game-tying goal with 8:31 left in the second period.
Thankfully for Kane, Marian Hossa scored 31 seconds later on the power play
and Jonathan Toews added another goal before the end of the period to put
Chicago back in control.
"(I) just thought a point man was there and it seemed to just keep catching
speed and went in the net, but it was good that we got it right back," said
Kane, who has three assists during his goal drought.
Hossa also added an assist on his 35th birthday and Raanta made 18 saves as
Chicago snapped a three-game winless streak (0-1-2) in the opener of a four-
Kane has five goals and 14 assists in 23 career games versus the Avalanche,
with two assists in two meetings this season.
The clubs have split those games, with the Avalanche winning 5-1 at home on
Nov. 19 and the Blackhawks picking up a 7-2 victory in Chicago on Dec. 27.
The 'Hawks have won two straight and five of their last eight at home in this
series. Patrick Sharp scored a hat trick to go along with an assist in the
previous win, Toews added two goals and a pair of helpers and Raanta made 18
Colorado's Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed seven goals on 24 shots through two
periods, while Semyon Varlamov stopped 13 shots in relief.
The Avalanche picked up a victory in their last trip to the ice, knocking off
the Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Saturday. Colorado was hitting the road following a
4-1-2 homestand and got a pair of goals from Ryan O'Reilly in his return to
O'Reilly, whose 16 markers are tied with Matt Duchene for the team lead, had
missed two straight games with a bruised shoulder and netted the go-ahead
tally with 7:16 left in the third period.
The Colorado forward stole the puck from Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter near
center ice and gave it to Duchene, who sent it back to O'Reilly before the
latter fired home a backhander.
"(Duchene) made a great pass to me there, gave me enough time to do something
with it," said O'Reilly of the goal.
Maxime Talbot added an empty-net goal with 1:10 left to go along with an
assist. Gabriel Landeskog lit the lamp as well to support a 25-save effort
Colorado did lose Paul Stastny to a leg injury in the second period and the
forward is questionable for tonight after missing practice on Monday, but
defenseman Tyson Barrie may play after missing Saturday's win with a bruised
Varlamov is 4-3-0 with a 2.30 goals against average in eight previous meetings
with Chicago, all but one of those starts. He should get the start tonight and
be backed up by Sami Aittokallio, who was recalled from the minors with
Giguere battling back spasms.
Corey Crawford could earn the start tonight for the Blackhawks, but lasted
just 13 minutes in the loss at Denver back in November. He yielded three goals
on seven shots before Raanta relieved him to make his NHL debut.
Crawford is 2-5-1 with a 3.49 GAA lifetime versus Colorado.
01/14 10:48:19 ET