Game Recap

Avalanche 4, Blackhawks 3, SO

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

Associated Press

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Avalanche 4, Blackhawks 3, SO
Chicago Blackhawks 3, Colorado Avalanche 4

DENVER (AP) -Chris Stewart formulated a plan as he fidgeted on the bench, readying himself just in case the shootout dragged out that long.

When his turn came, Stewart went to work, skating down the side, cutting over and lining the puck under the pads of Chicago goalie Antti Niemi - just as he envisioned.

Stewart scored in the eighth round of the shootout, helping the NHL-leading Colorado Avalanche remain unbeaten at home with a 4-3 victory over the Blackhawks on Friday night.

In truth, Stewart's plan of action wasn't an entirely unique strategy. He picked it up from teammate Milan Hejduk.

"I just came off the wing and did the old Hejduk - shoot low blocker," Stewart said.

Dustin Byfuglien had a chance to tie, but sent his slap shot just wide.

The two teams have made lengthy shootouts a habit this season, going nine rounds on Oct. 10, with the Blackhawks prevailing in that one.

Brent Seabrook thinks he knows why.

"We both have good goaltenders and good shooters," Seabrook said.

Craig Anderson returned to the net after receiving a rare night off. The Avalanche goalie stopped 29 shots, including a vital save in overtime when he turned back Patrick Sharp's shot.

"He gives us a chance to win every night and he did it again tonight," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said.

Ryan O'Reilly scored twice for Colorado in regulation, while David Jones added a short-handed goal.

With the win, the Avalanche moved to 6-0 at Pepsi Center this season, matching the franchise record for consecutive home wins to start a season.

Byfuglien, Duncan Keith and Andrew Ladd scored for the Blackhawks, who lost for the second straight night.

Tired legs? Troy Brouwer didn't feel that was the case.

"We have a couple of days off so the back-to-back games aren't too bad," he said. "We came out and had a great start, but we weren't able to maintain it throughout the game."

The Avalanche missed their first two attempts in the shootout, while Patrick Kane scored as he dribbled a puck through Anderson's legs.

Anderson said all he was hoping for was one more chance.

Marek Svatos gave it to him. The Avalanche's last shooter, Svatos scored high on Niemi to force extra rounds.

Anderson took it from there.

"The team did a great job of getting me the lead and I just had to close it out," said Anderson, who started 15 straight games before taking a break Wednesday.

O'Reilly and Jones scored 59 seconds apart in the second period to give the Avalanche a 3-2 lead. Jones had a short-handed goal as he flew down the left side and flipped the puck past Niemi. It was Jones' second goal this season with the Avalanche a skater down.

Late in the second, Chicago tied it at 3 when Ladd poked in the puck that was sitting in front of the net.

Both teams boast a bench full of youthful energy, with the average age on each roster just a shade under 27 years old.

However, Chicago was without one of their young stars as captain Jonathan Toews missed a sixth straight game with a concussion.

Kane and Kris Versteeg helped picked up the slack, each assisting on two goals in an entertaining first period.

Chicago jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a power-play goal by Byfuglien early in the game, followed by Keith's shot over Anderson's shoulder just over 4 minutes later.

But the lead quickly evaporated.

"We came out and had the start that we wanted, and got up a couple goals and got a little bit complacent," Brouwer conceded.

The Avalanche worked their way back into the game and Stewart took it from there - just like his coach figured he would.

"I had him in Lake Erie (of the AHL) and he had a knack for scoring in the shootout," Sacco said. "I had a good feeling that when he was going, he was going to score."

NOTES: Avalanche D Ruslan Salei (back) said he's making steady progress toward a return. Asked how much longer he'd be sidelined, Salei said, "More than a week, less than a month." ... Hejduk played in his 800th game, the fourth player in franchise history to reach that milestone. ... Avs D John-Michael Liles injured his shoulder in the first period and didn't return.

scoring summary
1st Period
PPG - Dustin Byfuglien (6) ASST: Patrick Kane (10), Kris Versteeg (7)
1 - 0 CHI
Duncan Keith (4) ASST: Patrick Kane (11), Kris Versteeg (8)
2 - 0 CHI
Ryan O'Reilly (3) ASST: Marek Svatos (2), Wojtek Wolski (6)
2 - 1 CHI
2nd Period
SHG - David Jones (5) ASST: Scott Hannan (6)
2 - 2 Tie
Ryan O'Reilly (4) ASST: David Jones (4), Kyle Quincey (8)
3 - 2 COL
Andrew Ladd (3) ASST: Patrick Sharp (6), Colin Fraser (2)
3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period
OT Period
1W. WolskiP. Kane
2M. HejdukK. Versteeg
3M. SvatosP. Sharp
4M. DucheneT. Kopecky
5D. JonesA. Ladd
6P. StastnyC. Barker
7R. O'ReillyT. Brouwer
8C. StewartD. Byfuglien
penalty summary
1st Period
Colin Fraser  Fighting (maj) against  Matt Hendricks
Matt Hendricks  Fighting (maj) against  Colin Fraser
Milan Hejduk  Hooking against  Brent Seabrook
John Madden  Holding the stick against  Cody McLeod
Cody McLeod  Hooking against  John Madden
2nd Period
Adam Foote  Roughing against  Dustin Byfuglien
Jordan Hendry  Interference against  Scott Hannan
Kyle Quincey  Tripping against  Andrew Ladd
Chris Stewart  Cross checking against  Colin Fraser
Colin Fraser  Roughing against  Chris Stewart
3rd Period
OT Period
goalie stats
Antti Niemi
Antti Niemi
SA: 22TOI: 65:00
Saves: 19EV: 19 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: .864SH: 0 - 1
Craig Anderson
Craig Anderson
SA: 32TOI: 65:00
Saves: 29EV: 24 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .906SH: 1 - 1