DENVER (AP) — Duncan Keith called out his club for its energy level after Wednesday’s home loss to Colorado, but the Blackhawks veteran had nothing but praise for his teammates after Chicago rallied to pull out an improbable win against the Avalanche.
Dominik Kubalik scored the go-ahead goal with 3:17 left and the Blackhawks scored four times in the third period to beat the Avalanche 5-3 on Saturday night.
How did this happen….AGAIN?!! https://t.co/EDp29vyGTv
— Justin Adams (@justinadamsTV) December 22, 2019
Patrick Kane and Kirby Dach scored 28 seconds apart in Chicago’s four-goal flurry, and Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists to help the Blackhawks salvage the finale of their four-game season series with the Avalanche.
Colorado beat the Blackhawks 4-1 in Chicago on Wednesday and, after the game, Keith criticized his team’s lack of emotion. The Blackhawks had plenty of emotion in the third period Saturday when they stunned Colorado and stopped a 2-4 slide.
“We didn’t panic and we were patient. We competed hard and we were rewarded with goals and a win,” Keith said. “Sometimes it’s not always going to happen, we’re not always going to get those goals and tie it up like that. That’s a start and we can keep building off this.”
Kane and Kubalik also had assists for Chicago.
“Big two points for us and something we can feel really good about,” coach Jeremy Colliton said. “Hopefully it’s a reminder of how we need to play.”
Colorado outscored the Blackhawks 16-6 in the first three meetings but lost a late lead this time for the second straight game. Matt Calvert had two goals and Ryan Graves added a goal and an assist for the Avalanche.
Colorado allowed three goals in the final 2:56 against Carolina on Thursday night to lose 3-1 and couldn’t hold a two-goal lead Saturday.
“That’s two games in a row. Real frustrating for us,” defenseman Erik Johnson said. “We’re a young team but we know how to win now, so I think it’s something — you’ve got to know how to finish off when you have that opportunity ahead of you. That’s four points that we let slip away right before the break. We can’t let it happen.”
Calvert gave the Avalanche a 3-1 advantage with his goals in the second period, both of which came when he knocked in his own rebound. They appeared to be in great position, especially considering Colorado was 17-0-1 when leading after two periods this season.
“It’s more on us than it is on them,” Graves said. “We need to keep our foot on the gas when we are leading games and we just have to learn from it.”
It stayed a two-goal game until midway through the third when Kane skated between the circles and beat Philipp Grubauer for his 20th goal at 11:22. Dach tied it on a 2-on-1 on the next shift, and Kubalik’s sixth of the season at 16:43 off a pass from Toews gave Chicago the lead.
Dach ended a 16-game goal drought and gave the Blackhawks new life against a team that previously had their number.
“You just kind of keep being you and keep playing. The puck is going to find your stick and go in,” Dach said. “It might not be the prettiest goal or the prettiest assist, but eventually you’re going to find a way to get off that.”
Connor Murphy scored into an empty net with 39 seconds left to seal it.
Robin Lehner stopped 28 shots for Chicago. Grubauer made 27 saves for the Avalanche.
Graves’ goal early in the first period got the Avalanche on the board.
NOTES: Colorado D Cale Makar (upper-body injury) missed his seventh straight game. … The Blackhawks placed LW Brandon Saad (right ankle) on injured reserve, a move retroactive to Thursday. The team said Saad is expected to miss several weeks. … Avalanche C Nathan MacKinnon was selected as the Central Division captain for the All-Star Game in Chicago next month.
Blackhawks: Host the New Jersey Devils on Monday night.
Avalanche: At the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night.
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