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Avalanche rally, defeat Blackhawks in overtime

Erik Johnson scores game-winner for Colorado

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Erik Johnson scored at 1:57 of overtime to give the Colorado Avalanche a 4-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at Pepsi Center on Tuesday.

The loss prevented the Blackhawks (50-22-8) from breaking the franchise record for road wins; they are 24-12-3 on the road this season.

Chicago has already clinched the Central Division and No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

 

WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Avalanche highlights

 

"We didn't play the way we'd like to," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We'll move forward. There were some good things and we'll try to get a little bit tighter in our responsibilities without the puck. That's probably the focus."

Johnson, who earlier missed 36 games because of a broken fibula, went end-to-end to score his second goal of the season. He eluded Marian Hossa behind the Avalanche net, raced down left wing into the offensive zone and cut to the net to score against Scott Darling, who had an NHL career-high 47 saves.

"I was able to pick it up, and there's so much room 3-on-3," Johnson said. "I got some speed and Hossa's a fast player in his own right, and I tried to get going as fast as I could. I tried to make a move to the net, and luckily it went in."

Mikhail Grigorenko, Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog also scored for the Avalanche (22-54-3), who had a season-high 51 shots and are 13-25-2 at home.

Video: CHI@COL: Johnson shows off speed, pots OT winner

Marcus Kruger, Artemi Panarin and Ryan Hartman scored in the second period to give the Blackhawks a 3-0 lead. Kruger scored the third one on a breakaway against Calvin Pickard at 10:57 for his fifth of the season.

The Avalanche answered with shorthanded goals by Duchene and Landeskog 4:15 apart to make it 3-2.

Grigorenko tied the game 3-3 with his 10th goal at 5:46 of the third period off a pass from Duchene.

"That was unbelievable; he kind of just stabbed at it on his backhand," said Duchene, who matched his season high with three points. "He's got a knack for that. That was an unbelievable goal by him, I don't know how he did that."

Duchene, who had gone nine games without a point, converted Matt Nieto's pass on a 2-on-1 at 12:16 for his 18th goal. Landeskog banked his own rebound off Darling at 16:31 for his 17th.

Panarin gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 28 seconds into the second period. Patrick Kane passed to Panarin, who was wide open at the left circle for a one-timer and his 30th goal.

Hartman made it 2-0 at 4:15. Kruger skated down right wing and fed Hartman, who slipped the puck between Pickard's pads for his 19th goal. 

"You want to get up for every game," Hartman said. "Playoffs are two games away and you want to play every game like it's a playoff game just to get our bodies, ourselves amped up for the playoffs. We've got two games left to amp it up."

Video: CHI@COL: Panarin nets PPG to open the scoring

 

Goal of the game

Landeskog skated down left wing and took a shot that Darling stopped. He scooped up the rebound, moved behind the net and banked in a shot off the goalie's back for a shorthanded goal.

Video: CHI@COL: Landeskog grabs his own rebound, pots SHG

 

Save of the game

After stopping Avalanche forward Rocco Grimaldi on a breakaway, Darling stuck out his left pad to deny Grimaldi's stab at the rebound. The puck trickled off the right post and settled on the goal line. Darling pulled it back and covered at 7:38 of the second period.

Video: CHI@COL: Darling extends pad to rob Grimaldi

 
Highlight of the game

Avalanche defenseman Mark Barberio's extra effort kept the puck from exiting the Blackhawks zone. He got it to Duchene along the goal line, and Duchene spun around Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardins and in one motion passed to Grigorenko for the tying goal.

Video: CHI@COL: Grigorenko finishes Duchene's spinning feed

 
Unsung performance of the game

Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon won 14 of 18 faceoffs, had two shots on goal, two hits and two blocked shots in 19:45 of ice time.

 

They said it

"There's guys in here who are fighting for jobs next year and kids who are trying to get better. For us as leaders, we have to set the example and work hard and prove ourselves every night. Someone's watching from somewhere around the League. It feels good to get a win any time this year, based on how rough it's been." -- Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson

 

"A number of guys have had some nice years offensively, but at the same time we're only going to be as good as we are without the puck and tonight was an example of how we can be better." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville

 

Need to know

Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen was a late scratch because of a lower-body injury. ... Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was given the night off after playing in the first 79 games. ... Panarin is the first player in Blackhawks history to begin a career with consecutive 30-goal seasons.

 

What's next

Blackhawks: At the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CSN-CH, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: Host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-N, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Johnson's OT winner leads Avs past Hawks, 4-3

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