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Colorado
Avalanche
32-45-5
Chicago
Blackhawks
46-24-12

game recap

Avalanche 5, Blackhawks 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

Associated Press

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Avalanche 5, Blackhawks 1
Colorado Avalanche 5, Chicago Blackhawks 1

CHICAGO (AP) -The Colorado Avalanche snapped a six-game losing streak - with a lot of help from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Peter Budaj made 24 saves, and Marek Svatos and Ryan Smyth each had a goal and an assist in Colorado's 5-1 victory Sunday. The Avalanche, last in the Western Conference, won for the fourth time in their last 14 games and the seventh time in their last 24.

Ben Guite, Chris Stewart, Milan Hejduk also scored, and Tyler Arnason had three assists. The Avalanche's six-game skid was the franchise's longest since the Quebec Nordiques lost eight in a row in January 1992.

"Obviously the standings look pretty bad for us," Budaj said. "It's great to get a win. It's a great effort. Everyone was contributing. It's a very good hockey team on the other side. We outplayed them tonight. That's big."

The Avalanche are headed to their first losing season since 1993-94.

"The key was to try to get off to a good start and see which team was going to wake up in an afternoon game," Smyth said. "We've been finding ways to lose. Today we found our legs early."

Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago, which lost its second straight. Toews has 11 goals in his last 11 games and leads the team with 28 goals.

His power-play goal in the second cut it to 2-1 and gave Chicago some momentum. Budaj made several timely saves before the Avalanche broke the game open and then kept Chicago at bay.

"I thought we did a real good job defensively," Colorado coach Tony Granato said. "That's obviously an important part against a team that has such speed and talent."

The Blackhawks didn't flash it on Sunday, however.

"Today all aspects of our game were off, every single one," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "I used really bad adjectives to describe our game today. This was a curveball and we have to get back to basics.

"I think a game like today's reminds you that there are no games that you can take for granted. The last 20 games will be harder than the first 62."

Chicago right wing Martin Havlat left the game with a lower body injury after his fourth shift in the second period and did not return.

"We'll have a better idea when we skate on Tuesday," Quenneville said.

Havlat has 12 goals and 19 assists in 30 games since Jan. 1.

"When one guy goes down, everybody's got to step up," Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith said. "We've got to keep looking at it one game at a time. Everybody's talking about playoffs, but it's a couple of months away. We have to become a better team."

Antti Niemi was shaky in his second NHL start for Chicago, making 24 saves while giving Cristobal Huet the day off.

Huet has started 10 of Chicago's last 12, including the Blackhawks' 5-3 loss at Boston on Saturday. He normally alternates with Nikolai Khabibulin, sidelined since Feb. 11 by a groin injury.

Colorado jumped ahead 2-0 late in the first period on goals by Guite and Stewart.

Guite scored with 6:26 left in the first when Ruslan Salei's 40-foot shot from the right wing deflected off Guite's body.

Stewart made it 2-0 3:27 later with a deflection from the right edge of the crease. He was set up when Arnason tipped Adam Foote's shot from the point across the crease.

Toews' power-play goal at 6:53 of the second cut it to 2-1.

Budaj made several close-in saves to keep the game close before Hejduk and Svatos scored goals 2:34 apart late in the period.

Hejduk made it 3-1 with 4 minutes left in the second, ripping a shot from the right circle past Niemi's right skate. Svatos converted Arnason's centering pass.

Smyth wrapped in a rebound of Svatos' shot at 5:37 of the third.

Notes: Chicago C Samuel Pahlsson, acquired from Anaheim on Wednesday, skated Sunday for the first time since being diagnosed with mononucleosis in January and said he could be ready to return in about a week. ... Blackhawks RW Patrick Sharp missed his 10th game because of a left knee injury. He's expected to resume skating this week. ... Khabibulin has resumed skating, but hasn't taken any shots. Chicago GM Dale Tallon said both Sharp and Khabibulin are "very close" to returning. ... Colorado LW Cody McLeod missed the game after injuring a shoulder Wednesday night against Detroit.

scoring summary
1st Period
13:34
COL
Ben Guite (4) ASST: Ruslan Salei (16), Daniel Tjarnqvist (2)
1 - 0 COL
17:01
COL
Chris Stewart (10) ASST: Tyler Arnason (15), Adam Foote (6)
2 - 0 COL
2nd Period
06:53
CHI
PPG - Jonathan Toews (28) ASST: Cam Barker (28), Brian Campbell (37)
2 - 1 COL
16:00
COL
Milan Hejduk (25) ASST: Ryan Smyth (32)
3 - 1 COL
18:34
COL
Marek Svatos (14) ASST: Tyler Arnason (16), Wojtek Wolski (23)
4 - 1 COL
3rd Period
05:37
COL
Ryan Smyth (24) ASST: Marek Svatos (17), Tyler Arnason (17)
5 - 1 COL
penalty summary
1st Period
02:32
CHI
Pascal Pelletier  Too many men/ice - bench
05:22
CHI
Jonathan Toews  Tripping against  Ben Guite
10:19
COL
Paul Stastny  Holding against  Adam Burish
16:22
COL
Cody McCormick  Fighting (maj) against  Ben Eager
16:22
CHI
Ben Eager  Fighting (maj) against  Cody McCormick
2nd Period
06:07
COL
Ben Guite  Holding against  Jonathan Toews
07:29
CHI
Ben Eager  Hi-sticking against  TJ Hensick
09:30
CHI
Matt Walker  Roughing against  Darcy Tucker
12:17
COL
Cody McCormick  Misconduct (10 min) against  Dustin Byfuglien
12:17
COL
Cody McCormick  Instigator against  Dustin Byfuglien
12:17
CHI
Dustin Byfuglien  Fighting (maj) against  Cody McCormick
12:17
COL
Cody McCormick  Fighting (maj) against  Dustin Byfuglien
16:26
CHI
Colin Fraser  Fighting (maj) against  Ian Laperriere
16:26
COL
Ian Laperriere  Fighting (maj) against  Colin Fraser
3rd Period
03:02
COL
Daniel Tjarnqvist  Holding against  Pascal Pelletier
09:44
CHI
Kris Versteeg  Tripping against  Ryan Smyth
11:03
COL
Ryan Smyth  Interference against  Cam Barker
14:54
COL
Ruslan Salei  Holding against  Ben Eager
goalie stats
Peter Budaj
Peter Budaj
17-25-1
SA: 25TOI: 60:00
Saves: 24EV: 18 - 18
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .960SH: 1 - 1
Antti Niemi
SA: 29TOI: 59:43
Saves: 24EV: 16 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 8
SV%: .828SH: 0 - 0