If it wasn’t already time to panic about the Colorado Avalanche, maybe it is now.
The Avalanche blew multiple chances to break a tie game open on the powerplay on their way to a hideous loss to the NHL-worst Chicago Blackhawks.
Evan Rodrigues and Cale Makar scored the goals for the Avalanche. Nathan MacKinnon added two assists.
For the Blackhawks, Sam Lafferty, Andreas Athanasiou, and Taylor Raddysh were the goal scorers.
The Avalanche desperately needed a good start. That did not happen.
Just 3:24 into the game, the Blackhawks found the back of the net.
After a lost battle along the wall, Cale Makar pinched in and the puck was chipped past him. Devon Toews had gone off for a change, so Sam Lafferty had a clear lane to the net on a breakaway. He beat Pavel Francouz over the glove, and the Blackhawks were off to an early lead.
A little over eight minutes later, the Avalanche’s top line got them back into the game.
Lukas Reichel turned the puck over behind his net to Nathan MacKinnon. The wrong guy to give it to.
Rather than trying anything too fancy, MacKinnon ripped a shot low on Petr Mrazek. The rebound bounced right to a streaking Rodrigues, who backhanded it past Mrazek to tie the game.
The first period score remained tied, despite the Avalanche having multiple power play opportunities to take the lead.
The Avalanche were their own worst enemies in the second period, which has been a trend of late.
Just 1:44 into the second, the third defensive pair and Darren Helm lost Athanasiou in coverage. The winger caught a pass with speed in the neutral zone, and sped past everyone on the Avalanche. It looked like he ran out of space, but his shot would bounce off Francouz’s glove and trickle into the net. The one goal lead was restored for the Blackhawks.
The Avalanche took three penalties in the second period, but Francouz kept the Blackhawks from scoring any more.
It took a little over 11 minutes for the Avalanche to even register a shot on net in the middle period, but it didn’t take much longer for them to tie it up.
11:47 in, Makar let a wrist shot go through traffic to beat Mrazek and tie the game up. The screen was provided in front by Alex Newhook.
Once again, the teams would exit a period all tied up, this time at two.
Regulation did not end tied, however.
6:36 into the third, a nice passing play by the Blackhawks ended up in the back of the Avalanche net. The Hawks worked the puck around the offensive zone before Raddysh tipped a shot into the net from the top of the crease.
The Avalanche thought they tied it late, with Newhook battling in front and beating Mrazek on a rebound. Unfortunately, the Blackhawks challenged and the goal was called back for goaltender interference.
A late push was not enough, as the Avalanche fell 3-2 to the worst team in the NHL.
Having now lost seven of their last eight, they head home to take on the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. The game starts at 5 PM MST.