Chicago Blackhawks can’t find offense in 2-0 loss to Avs

Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite playing seven games over the last 11 days, the Colorado Avalanche had no trouble shutting out the Chicago Blackhawks in Monday’s 2-0 loss for Chicago.

The Blackhawks have now lost four straight while the Avalanche extended their home winning streak to a franchise-record 16 consecutive games.

However, despite coming into this game as heavy favorites, Colorado was held scoreless in the first period, with Chicago dominating 10-8 in shots on goal.

The home team broke through with nearly 8:30 remaining in the second period. Nazem Kadri tallied his 16th goal of the season, a powerplay goal that was set up beautifully going from Gabriel Landeskog to Cale Makar to Nathan MacKinnon before Kadri’s blast squeaked past Blackhawks’ netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.

Fleury gave the Blackhawks everything he had, making several big saves in the middle frame to keep the Avalanche off the board leading up to the powerplay goal. In all, the 37-year-old stopped 27-of-29 shots faced on the night.

The Chicago Blackhawks have scored only four 5-on-5 goals in Marc-Andre Fleury’s last five starts.

The Blackhawks had matching seven-shot second and third periods, with Avalanche netminder Pavel Francouz recording his second consecutive shutout. Further, he became the first Colorado goalie to post back-to-back shutouts since Patrick Roy in January 2003.

Trailing 1-0 in the third period, the Blackhawks were effectively put away with just over 13 minutes remaining in regulation. After Seth Jones sent the puck up the boards, Landeskog recovered the puck and found a wide-open Mikko Rantanen in front of the Chicago net. The Finnish forward did the rest with a great backhand shot that disrupted Fleury’s timing.

"“We all thought it could’ve been a similar situation tonight,” Patrick Kane said, comparing the Avs game earlier this month to Monday. “We grinded pretty hard for 2.5 periods. Just maybe didn’t have a big enough push there in the 3rd period to equalize the game.”"

Jones led all Blackhawks skaters with 29:50 TOI, recording one shot, five hits, and three blocked shots.

Notes: Chicago placed goalie Kevin Lankinen on injured reserve with a hand injury on Monday morning. Arvid Soderblom was recalled from AHL Rockford to serve as Fleury’s backup.

"“I’m still trying to get when it happened and why (Lankinen) didn’t really complain about it, so it was something he just dealt with and fought through it,” Blackhawks interim head coach Derek King said in advance of Monday’s game."

The Chicago Blackhawks are back in action in Detroit for a showdown with the Red Wings on Wednesday. Puck drop is set for 6:30 pm CT.