Marian Hossa missed the entire game, Andrew Shaw much of it and Patrick Sharp the latter stages, but the Blackhawks just kept on streaking.
The undermanned Hawks overcame some serious adversity to extend their run of games without a regulation loss to start the season to 24 and their franchise-record winning streak to 11 with a 3-2 victory over the Avalanche on Wednesday night at the United Center.
Daniel Carcillo scored the game-winner with 49.3 seconds remaining in the third period, Jonathan Toews and Shaw also scored and Ray Emery earned the win in goal as the Hawks improved to 21-0-3 this season. They reached the halfway mark of the 48-game lockout-shortened season with 45 of a possible 48 points and dating back to last season have not fallen in regulation in their last 30 games—the second-longest streak in NHL history.
After losing Hossa shortly before the game with an upper-body injury, Shaw in the second after taking an elbow to the chin and Sharp with a possible arm or shoulder injury after a hit along the boards, the Hawks carried on with nine forwards.
With Hossa out of the lineup, the Hawks had to rework their lines and power-play units. Daniel Carcillo replaced the veteran on the No. 1 line with fellow winger Brandon Saad and center Jonathan Toews and Saad saw time with the man advantage. The latter change paid early dividends as Saad had a hand in Shaw’s power-play score midway through the opening period. Saad earned an assist after getting the puck to Seabrook, who unloaded a cannon shot from just inside the blue line that Shaw redirected for his sixth goal of the season.
The Hawks were awarded the power play after Colorado’s Cody McLeod was called for roughing after going after Brent Seabrook, who dumped Patrick Bordeleau into the Avs’ bench with a big but legal check.
The Avalanche tied it late in the first when Mitchell went top shelf with a backhander from near the right post that Emery couldn’t handle.
Both goalies were sharp early in the second with Emery getting just enough of a shot by Chuck Kobasew shot on a breakaway coming out of the penalty box to keep it even and Varlamov stoning Patrick Sharp on a break.
Later, Sharp had another opportunity turned aside by Varlamov and Colorado took the lead on the counter-attack as Duchene tucked the puck between Emery and the post to give the Avalanche a 2-1 advantage.
Early in the third, Toews knotted the score at 2-2 with a short-handed goal. The captain skated right around Avs center Ryan O’Reilly and tucked a forehand past Varlamov to send the crowd of 21,531 into a frenzy.
Emery kept it that way with a terrific stop on a Gabriel Landeskog stuff attempt to keep the momentum in favor of the Hawks.
Carcillo got the winner when he backhanded a rebound of a Viktor Stalberg shot past Varlamov to extend the Hawks’ historic start.
Chicago Tribune Reporting