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Theodore Stops 22, Avs Drop Shootout Decision

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Jose Theodore

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Robert Lang’s goal on Chicago’s fourth shootout attempt led the Blackhawks past the Avalanche by a 2-1 count Friday night at Pepsi Center.

Andrew Brunette scored Colorado’s lone goal to extend his point streak to four games (3g/3a) and Jose Theodore stopped 22-of-23 shots for the Avalanche.

“We had some opportunities and that’s the way it goes sometimes,” said Avs defenseman Scott Hannan. “We controlled the play in overtime and when you go to a shootout, it’s a little different. If we can play like that every night we can win some games.”

Rookie Patrick Kane, who also notched Chicago’s regulation goal, beat Theodore with a backhand attempt on the Blackhawks’ first attempt in the shootout before Milan Hejduk scored on a wrist shot to even the score and send it to sudden death.

T.J. Hensick’s low shot was stopped by Chicago netminder Patrick Lalime on Colorado’s fourth attempt, while Lang capitalized on a wrister that beat Theodore to his left to end the contest.

“I know he likes to shoot a lot. I didn’t expect him to go low blocker so it kind of caught me off guard there a little bit,” said Theodore of Lang’s game-winner. “I thought we played real well, we played solid. Coming back from a long road trip we didn’t change our game plan. We played solid defense.”

The Blackhawks took a quick 1-0 lead when Kane snuck behind the Colorado defense and caught a long pass from Martin Havlat before putting a shot over Theodore’s right shoulder at 2:32.

The Avs evened the game on Brunette’s ninth goal of the season. During a Colorado rush, Jaroslav Hlinka dropped a pass in the slot to Brunette, whose shot was stopped by Lalime. However, the veteran forward crashed the net and knocked home his own rebound to even the game at 8:03. Hejduk was also credited with a helper on the play.

The game remained tied through the final two periods of regulation and overtime, with both Theodore and Lalime coming up big in goal for their respective clubs.

Notes: Tonight’s game was the first in a five-game homestand for the Avalanche…Colorado will close out the homestand against Chicago on Wednesday, Jan. 30…Theodore started his seventh consecutive game, during which he is 4-2-1 with a 1.68 goals-against average and .938 save percentage…Hejduk extended his point streak to four games (2g/2a).

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