Chicago at Colorado

Svatos scores twice to lift depleted Avalanche double up Blackhawks wire reports

DENVER -- A fast start was all the scoring-challenged Colorado Avalanche needed to break out of their injury-induced funk.

Marek Svatos scored twice and had an assist as the Avalanche broke through against Nikolai Khabibulin for a 6-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

The injury-riddled Avalanche have had trouble putting the puck in the net with Joe Sakic (hernia), Ryan Smyth (ankle) and Paul Stastny (appendectomy) sidelined, but they scored three times in the first period off Khabibulin, who hasn't won since Dec. 26 against Nashville.

"I think tonight was the best first period that we have had all season," Svatos said. "We came out flying and the forecheck was great. In our zone, we cleared the puck from our end, and I think that is what we have to bring every night. If we had a first period like that every game, we would be very tough to beat."

Milan Hejduk started it off with a wrist shot from the left circle that he flipped over Khabibulin's glove. Svatos added a goal two minutes later when he took a pass from Tyler Arnason, who stole the puck from Adam Burish in front of the crease.

With 90 seconds left in the first period, Brad Richardson sent a one-timer between Khabibulin's pads for his second goal of the season and first since Nov. 24 against Calgary.

"We lost a lot of battles," Blackhawks defenseman James Wisniewski said. "The puck didn't bounce our way. And they found the back of the net every time. It wasn't just one thing. It was everything that went wrong. It's mind-boggling. How could we let this happen with their top three forwards out?

"There are no easy games in this league any more. You can't expect to pelt teams. You have to show up and play."

The Avs' three first-period goals were the most they've scored in a period since getting five against St. Louis in the second period on Dec. 9, and Colorado's six goals represented its highest output since that night when the Avalanche scored nine against the Blues.

"When you get down 3-0, it's very difficult to come back," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "When you turn the puck over as many times as we did you're not going to get success. That sums up the game. Too many turnovers. The first goal came off a turnover. We got clobbered in the first period. Way too many turnovers."

Robert Lang's shot that trickled into the left corner of the net past Jose Theodore made it 3-1 in the second period, but Andrew Brunette restored Colorado's three-goal lead with a shot from the slot past Khabibulin that snapped an 0-for-25 streak on the power play on home ice.

Arnason's fifth goal made it 5-1 early in the third period. Svatos, who came in with a five-game streak without a goal, added his second at 13:56, giving him four two-goal games this season.

"We're playing well together," Arnason said of his line that includes Svatos and Wojtek Wolski. "We just have chemistry right now. I don't know why. No one can explain it, but it's going well. I think every coach would like to know where chemistry comes from. There's no real formula for it, just a certain point in time three guys know what each other are going to do, and that's us right now."

Theodore, who stopped 10 of 11 shots, was replaced by Peter Budaj to start the third period because of back spasms. Budaj didn't get much of a workout -- he didn't face a shot on goal until 4:43 remained but he allowed two goals to Yanic Perreault in the closing minutes.


  • The Avs had lost their first two games against Chicago, including a 2-1 shootout Jan. 18 at home.
  • These teams wrap up their season series on Feb. 17 in Chicago.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Andrew Brunette gives props to Milan Hejduk, who nets the first of the Avs' three first-period goals.  (AP)
Andrew Brunette gives props to Milan Hejduk, who nets the first of the Avs' three first-period goals. (AP)
Chicago (23-24-4)0123
Colorado  (27-20-4) «3126
Three Stars
M. Svatos

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
T. Arnason

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
M. Hejduk

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
09:13Milan Hejduk (18), Wrist Shot. Assist: T.J. Hensick
11:18Marek Svatos (21), Tip-In. Assist: Tyler Arnason, Wojtek Wolski
18:29Brad Richardson (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ben Guite, Brett Clark
03:17Robert Lang (17), Wrist Shot. Assist: James Wisniewski, Martin Havlat
12:00Power Play - Andrew Brunette (11), Slap Shot. Assist: Milan Hejduk, Marek Svatos
06:29Tyler Arnason (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: John-Michael Liles, Jordan Leopold
13:56Marek Svatos (22), Backhand Shot. Assist: Tyler Arnason, Wojtek Wolski
17:20Yanic Perreault (5), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
19:36Yanic Perreault (6), Slap Shot. Assist: Adam Burish, Brent Sopel
Penalty Summary
59.0Kane, 2 min, Tripping
10:15Sopel, 2 min, High-Sticking
13:12Laperriere, 2 min, Slashing
15:29Lang, 2 min, Hooking
18:22Guite, 2 min, Holding
04:22Bourque, 2 min, Holding
11:04Liles, 2 min, Interference
Shots On Goal
Nikolai Khabibulin59:59326
Peter Budaj19:5852
Jose Theodore39:59101
Game Information
Attendance - 15348
Referees - Rob Shick, Brad Watson
Linesmen - Shane Heyer, Vaughan Rody
Other Games
Buf 1 Final
Fla 0
SJ 4 Final
Cal 5
Ana 1 Final
Min 5
Pho 2 Final
Det 3
Pitt 1 Final
Atl 4