All good things must come to an end.
When it came to the Chicago Blackhawks’ 24-game point streak, not everyone considered it a good thing (particularly the team’s division rivals) but nonetheless, the streak had to stop somewhere.
And it stopped in Denver, Colorado at the hands of the 28th place Avalanche. The 6-2 beating on Friday night marked the Blackhawks’ first regulation loss in almost a year.
For Blackhawks fans, the game started off promising. A little over 5 minutes in, a tic-tac-toe display by Marian Hossa to Jonathan Toews resulted in the captain’s 11th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead for Chicago.
It wasn’t until the last 5 minutes of the opening period that Colorado was able to even up the scoreboard. Paul Stastny’s tying goal came on an ensuing Colorado powerplay, with Bryan Bickell in the box for hooking.
No big deal, right? The Blackhawks had proved for the entire 2013 season so far that they could battle adversity, overcome ties and trails and still emerge victorious in the end.
Unfortunately, adversity is not a word that can even begin to describe what Chicago faced in the second period.
Matt Duchene and John Mitchell scored, just seconds apart, in the first few minutes of the second. Then Ryan O’Reilly’s slapshot and Jamie McGinn’s wrister gave the Avs a 5-1 lead as the period closed out.
Not surprisingly, Corey Crawford was pulled and Ray Emery took his place in net for the third period. Entering the final frame, the situation looked bleak for the Blackhawks, but hockey experts and fans alike still held their tongues about a possible regulation loss for the league-leading team.
It was Bryan Bickell who finally managed to put a puck past Semyon Varlamov, just shy of the period’s halfway mark.
Sadly, that was the only catch-up effort put forth by Chicago, and PA Parentau sealed their fate with less than 5 minutes to go in the third, padding the Avs’ generous lead to 4.
Since NHL opening day on January 19th, Chicago enjoyed immense success, several outstanding performances by the superstars on their roster (Patrick Kane, anyone?), and admiration from athletes throughout every other pro sport.
The point streak was destined to end at some point, but a 4-goal deficit was not the way any Blackhawk had envisioned it.
Nevertheless, Chicago still left this game sitting pretty atop the standings, with a 10-point lead over the 2nd place Anaheim Ducks.
About the Author
Written by Anna Santiago
26-year old sports writer from Calgary, Alberta. A hockey and basketball lover above all.