By TIM CRONIN | Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Taylor Raddysh snapped a tie in the third period, and the lowly Chicago Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Thursday night for their third straight victory.
Sam Lafferty and Andreas Athanasiou also scored for Chicago (11-25-4), and Petr Mrazek made 31 saves.
The Blackhawks had a 2-20-1 stretch before their win streak.
Cale Makar and Evan Rodrigues scored for Colorado (20-17-3), and Nathan MacKinnon had two assists. Pavel Francouz had 27 stops for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The slumping Avalanche dropped to 1-6-1 in their last eight games.
Raddysh gave Chicago a 3-2 lead with a tip-in of Tyler Johnson’s perfect feed 6:36 into the third. It was Raddysh’s 11th goal of the season.
“We want to keep building on this,” Raddysh said.
Colorado’s Alex Newhook appeared to score with 4:51 remaining, poking in a rebound in the slot. But the Blackhawks challenged for goaltender interference, and the goal was disallowed by referees Kelly Sutherland and Jake Brenk.
“I was only worried it took so long to get it right,” Chicago coach Luke Richardson said. “The first thing I saw was (Mikko) Rantanen’s stick pushing Petr’s pad.”
The Avalanche tied it at 2 on Makar’s screened wrist shot with 8:13 left in the second. Mrazek never saw it coming.
The Blackhawks opened the scoring on Lafferty’s 20-foot wrist shot 3:24 into the game. The Avalanche then tied it at 1 on Rodrigues’ rebound backhand off MacKinnon’s shot at 11:40.
Chicago made it 2-1 when Athanasiou beat Francouz from the left slot after skating in from the deep right wing early in the second.
“Good to get the lead early and play in front of them,” Raddysh said. “They’re not an easy team to come back on.”
Mrazek picked up his first assist of the season and fourth of his career by starting the play. He also helped the Blackhawks kill all five Colorado power plays in his third win of the season.
“Cost us the game, simple as that,” Rodrigues said of the power-play trouble. “We’re losing (places) in the playoff race here, and we’ve got to figure it out pretty quickly.”
Newhook was hit in the nose by the deflected shot of teammate Devin Toews late in the second period. He went to the locker room for repairs, and then returned for the third.
KANE TO INJURED RESERVE
Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, who has missed three games with a lower-body injury, was placed on injured reserve. He could play Saturday against Seattle if he’s ready. He skated on his own Thursday morning but didn’t participate in the team skate. Chicago activated MacKenzie Entwistle off injured reserve to fill Kane’s roster spot.
Avalanche: Host Ottawa on Saturday night.
Blackhawks: Continue their seven-game homestand against Seattle on Saturday night.
AP NHL: www.apnews.com/hub/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports
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