CHICAGO (AP) – Tyson Barrie and the Avalanche keep finding ways to win as they move up in the Western Conference.
The defenseman scored his second goal of the game on a power play at 4:09 of overtime, giving Colorado a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
The Avalanche won their second straight and improved to 6-1-1 in their last eight games despite getting outshot 48-26 and blowing a two-goal lead.
“This is huge for us,” Barrie said. “We want to keep climbing in the standings.”
The 22-year-old Barrie was an unlikely star in this one. After his first two-goal game in the NHL, he has five goals this season and seven in his career.
“This is a tough building to get one point in, so we got the one. We were fortunate to get the power play there, and were able to get the two points,” he said.
The Avalanche also avenged a 7-2 drubbing by the Blackhawks in Chicago on Dec. 27. Colorado is 6-1-2 since that loss.
“We wanted to have a good bounce-back game after that,” Barrie said. “If you can beat the champs, it’s always nice.”
Barrie and Ryan O’Reilly scored 1:02 apart late in the first period to stake Colorado to a 2-0 lead. O’Reilly has three goals in his last two games.
But if goalie Semyon Varlamov hadn’t made 46 saves in a solid – and sometimes spectacular – effort, the game wouldn’t have been close.
“He’s been like this since the start of the year,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. “He’s been outstanding. We rally around him.
“That was the type of performance we needed from our goalie to beat the Blackhawks.”
But that was all Varlamov allowed.
“We just couldn’t find a way to score enough goals to win,” Toews said. “It is a frustrating game, but we’ll stay with it and we know we can build off that effort and start playing better hockey than we have been the last few games.”
Varlamov improved to 9-0-5 in his last 15 games, including 14 starts – the longest streak of his career without a regulation loss. His last defeat in regulation was at Phoenix on Dec. 10, when the Avalanche lost 3-1.
Crawford finished with 23 saves. The Blackhawks have dropped their last seven games that have gone past regulation, dating to a 2-1 shootout win in Dallas on Nov. 29.
The defending Stanley Cup champions are 4-11 this season in games that go longer than 60 minutes. They are 0-5 in overtime and 4-6 in shootouts.
Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson left late in the second period with a lower-body injury. He tried to return for a shift in the third, but didn’t continue.
Colorado led 2-0 after the first period despite being outplayed until about 14 minutes in, when the Blackhawks held a 12-3 advantage in shots.
But Barrie opened the scoring on a soft screened shot from just inside the right point with 5:02 left in the first. He flipped the puck past several players and it sailed over Crawford’s glove.
O’Reilly made it 2-0 with a power-play goal on a crisp passing play 10 seconds after Kris Versteeg was sent off for hooking. O’Reilly slipped the puck past Crawford after a wide-open setup at the edge of the crease.
The Blackhawks pushed back and turned up the pressure in the second, outshooting Colorado 10-1 in the first half of the period and 16-6 overall. But Chicago only managed to cut Colorado’s lead to 2-1, cashing in on Oduya’s deflection of Brandon Saad‘s screened shot from the slot.
Shaw tied it on a rebound. He swept in a shot from 10 feet out after Varlamov stopped Saad from point-blank range.
Toews tripped Andre Benoit at 3:34 of overtime following a Chicago turnover to prevent a possible breakaway, but the ensuing power play led to Barrie’s game-winner.
NOTES: Oduya, a defenseman, had gone 23 games without a goal and 10 without a point. … Colorado C Paul Stastny missed the game with a leg injury sustained Saturday at Minnesota. He is day to day. … Avalanche GJean-Sebastien Giguere sat out with back spasms, so Sami Aittokallio was recalled from Lake Erie of the AHL to back up Varlamov. Colorado D Cory Sarich also was scratched.
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