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Avalanche Earns A Point Versus Blackhawks

Colorado falls to Chicago in overtime

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

For the fourth time in the last eight games, the Colorado Avalanche needed more than 60 minutes to determine who would come out on top of the matchup and earn the extra point.

It took just nine seconds into the extra frame for a winner to be decided on Tuesday as the Avalanche fell 2-1 in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Tuesday.

"I wish we had two [points]. I didn't think we played a complete game tonight," said head coach Jared Bednar. "We were a little slow in the first period, and then really got going in the second and I liked it, but not happy with the overtime goal at all. We made a mistake on that. Easy coverage and we let a guy get in behind us. Cost us a second point.

"I would have liked to have a chance to try and earn that a little bit longer than that play, but it is what it is. We are moving on. It's a big point, we will take any points, but at this time I would like to see our team play more of a complete game and get the two, or give ourselves a better chance at the two points."

Colorado is 4-1-3 in its last eight games and with less than five weeks remaining in the season, every point is significant for the Avalanche, which is now tied with the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 77 points.

Over the course of the season, the Avs have played beyond regulation 14 times and are 6-6 in the overtime stanza and 1-1 when the game is decided by a shootout.

"Games are going to tighten up now, and they are going to be closer games. One-goal games a lot, you're going to see overtime," said Bednar. "We have to fix that aspect of our game, we have to keep competing. I thought for the final 40 minutes we were there to win the hockey game, I just didn't love our start. I thought we were a little bit quiet in the first period, not playing the way we could and they were kind of imposing their will on us. And then we got going and things started to go our way."

The Blackhawks found the back of Colorado's net five minutes into the game and outshot the Avs 12-9 in the first period. However, the Avalanche came out stronger in the second period and fired 18 shots at Chicago goaltender J-F Berube.

"I thought our compete was there. Maybe the first we started a little bit slow, but we really responded well and the rest of the game I thought we were pretty dominant," said Colorado forward Tyson Jost. "Just got to keep playing like we did in the second half there. I mean, we have a push that we need to make. We need to learn how to put two points together on the road. Tonight was a right step, but it would have been nice to get two points. We just have to regroup in Columbus."

The Avalanche continues its two-game road trip at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

VARLY VARLY

Goaltender Semyon Varlamov was resilient in net for Colorado and stopped 25-of-26 shots in regulation to keep the Avs within striking distance of the Blackhawks, who scored early in the first frame.

"He's outstanding. He did what Varly's done all year, we owe a lot to him," said Jost. "He keeps us in games, he's a brick wall back there. There's a lot of confidence in our team when we have someone like that in net. We owe a lot to Varly, and we know that he's going to have our back for sure every game."

It was the Samara, Russia, native's ninth consecutive start in net for the Avs and the 11th straight game that he has played in.

BARRIE, MacKINNON EXTEND POINT STREAKS

Nathan MacKinnon scored his 12th power-play goal of the season in the second period and extended his point streak to six games. Defenseman Tyson Barrie set up the marker and recorded an assist for the fourth game in row. Barrie now has six points (two goals, four assists) in his last four outings.

MacKinnon has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) and two game-winning goals during his six-game point streak.

"He's been unbelievable... On the ice you can see he is so dominant," Jost said of MacKinnon. "He is a man among boys out there, and he is always someone we can rely on. It's awesome to have someone like that on your team. He is always there, you know he is going to make a big play and be a big part of the game and tonight he did and Tys made a great pass backdoor to him."

Video: COL@CHI: MacKinnon lasers wrister past Berube for PPG

POWER-PLAY SUCCESS CONTINUES

MacKinnon's power-play goal in the second period extended the Avalanche's stretch of contests with a man-advantage tally to a season-high five straight games, going 5-for-19 in those outings.

"It felt like it was kind of stagnant, our power play. So, I thought maybe I can just try to create some movement, create some confusion," Tyson Barrie said of his assist on the marker. "I just tried to get it over to Nate, and he made another great shot."

The last time the Avs scored a power-play goal in five consecutive games was Dec. 19-31, 2015.

Colorado is 10-for 30 with the man advantage in its last eight contests, which includes tying a franchise record with five power-play markers on Feb. 20 at the Vancouver Canucks.

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