Needing a win, Avs suffer catastrophic 3-2 loss to league-worst Blackhawks


For a second consecutive game, a late Avalanche game-tying goal was reviewed and overturned. This time, there was no swift make-up goal to make the pain go away.

There is only pain for Alex Newhook, who had been bludgeoned in the face with a puck earlier but thought he had saved the Avs from embarrassment with 4:51 remaining — until a Chicago challenge revealed goalie interference on Mikko Rantanen. And there is only pain for the plummeting Avalanche after a 3-2 loss to the league’s worst team Thursday in Chicago.

The Blackhawks’ third consecutive win was the seventh loss in eight games for Colorado (20-17-3), which has lost as many games as it has won at the 40-game mark.

Taylor Raddysh scored at 6:36 of the third period to put Chicago ahead for good after the Avalanche overcame one-goal deficits in the first and second periods.

Avalanche power play struggles continue

Not even Nathan MacKinnon’s return has spared the desolate Avalanche power play. Neither unit can seem to sustain any offensive zone time. This game might have been rock bottom. Against the fourth-worst penalty kill in the league, Colorado went 0-for-5 with five shots, including a third-period opportunity that lacked urgency or cohesion while needing a game-tying goal.

Chicago outshot the Avalanche 1-0 on that crunch-time power play. The Avs also managed only one shot on goal during a four-minute double minor in the first period.

During MacKinnon’s December absence with an upper-body injury, the power play had an 0-for-18 drought. Since his return, the power play is 1-for-25 in six games.

Francouz bails out bad second period in return

After 12 consecutive games with Alexandar Georgiev in net, Pavel Francouz returned from his lower-body injury and single-handedly weathered a second-period storm as the Avalanche stumbled again. Colorado didn’t get a shot on goal until 11 minutes into the period, and the Avs gave the Blackhawks three power plays. Francouz made seven saves to kill all three penalties despite a number of sloppy giveaways. It was enough to stave off Chicago until Cale Makar could tie it with his 11th goal.

In the first period, Francouz gave up a goal on his fourth shot faced then settled in. When Jonathan Toews picked Nathan MacKinnon’s pocket in the neutral zone during an Avalanche power play, the backup netminder denied the ensuing 2-on-1 to avert a disastrous short-handed goal.


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