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Blackhawks End Colorado's Winning Streak

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
CHICAGO (AP) - Kyle Calder scored two goals, Nikolai Khabibulin made 37 saves in his first game back following a groin pull, and the Chicago Blackhawks snapped the Colorado Avalanche's eight-game winning streak with a 4-2 victory Thursday night.

Khabibulin, who missed 10 games, was especially sharp in the first period when Colorado outshot Chicago 20-4. For the game, the Avalanche held a 39-25 shots advantage.

Jim Dowd and Mikhail Yakubov also scored for Chicago, which won for just the third time in 16 games and only the second time in 12 home contests.

In their last six games, however, the Blackhawks are 3-1-2.

Marek Svatos and Antti Laaksonen had goals for the Avalanche, who hadn't lost since Dec. 30 at San Jose. The streak was the third longest in franchise history.

Avalanche goalie David Aebischer made 21 saves in his eighth straight start. His seven-game winning streak also ended.

Calder opened the scoring just 17 seconds in on a rebound.

Tyler Arnason broke in on left wing, but Aebischer blocked his shot from the circle. After Radim Vrbata partially fanned on a loose rebound in the crease, Calder converted it.

The Blackhawks had the first three shots, but the Avalanche took the next 16.

Svatos scored a power-play goal on his own rebound - the 13th shot in the string - to tie it 1-all at 6:14. The play was set up after Colorado pressured Chicago rookie defenseman Duncan Keith into a turnover in the left corner.

Dowd deflected in Matthew Barnaby's shot from the left-wing boards at 3:55 of the second period to give Chicago a 2-1 lead. Standing at the front edge of the crease, Dowd redirected the puck off the left post and in.

Andy Hilbert made it 3-1 at 7:43, scoring from the slot during a 4-on-4. He was set up by Vrbata following a turnover by Colorado's Alex Tanguay.

Laaksonen cut it to 3-2 at 9:37 when he pivoted in the slot and beat Khabibulin with a backhander.

Calder's second goal, with 2:48 left in the second, made it 4-2. Moving in on Aebischer on a 2-on-1, Calder shifted to his backhand, then tucked the puck past Aebischer's outstretched pad.

Aebischer was on the bench for an extra attacker when the Avalanche enjoyed their 10th power play, but they couldn't convert.

Notes: Colorado C Pierre Turgeon missed his fifth game with strained shoulder. LW Brad May missed his eighth with a knee injury. D Kurt Sauer was a healthy scratch. ... Chicago rookie D Brent Seabrook returned after missing 13 games with a sprained knee, as did C Curtis Brown who missed five games with a similar injury. ... To make room for Khabibulin, the Blackhawks waived G Craig Anderson, who was claimed by Boston. ... Blackhawks C Patrick Sharp sat out his second game with the flu, and D Adrian Aucoin missed his fourth with a groin pull.

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