Preview: Colorado at Chicago
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 10, 2016
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
The Colorado Avalanche look to extend their point streak against the Chicago Blackhawks to six games when they visit the defending Stanley Cup champions on Sunday. The Avalanche come in with three straight wins overall and are 12-4-2 since Dec. 1 but will face a Blackhawks team that has won a season-high six games in a row.
Defenseman Tyson Barrie has helped ignite Colorado with six points over the last three contests as the Avalanche creep closer to playoff position in the Western Conference. While league scoring leader Patrick Kane continues to shine with 10 points in six games, two-time Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith has heated up to lead the charge for the Blackhawks. Keith, who is slated to play in his 800th NHL game Sunday, has posted two goals and eight points with a plus-4 rating during the winning streak. The Avalanche – 4-0-1 against Chicago in the last five meetings – snapped Kane’s point streak at 26 games when they last visited the Blackhawks and dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to them in Colorado on Dec. 31.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), WGN (Chicago)
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (21-18-3): Colorado has totaled 13 goals during its current winning streak and boasts five players with at least 28 points – led by Nathan MacKinnon’s 35 – as it ranked fifth in the league in scoring through Friday. The Avalanche also could get top-pair defenseman Erik Johnson back in the lineup after he missed the last two contests with a lower-body injury. Matt Duchene has scored a team-best 19 goals and has collected six points in his last six games while captain Gabriel Landeskog has scored in each of the last two contests.
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (26-13-4): Kane has totaled 60 points just past the first half of the campaign and linemate Artemi Panarin has benefited with 38 – most among rookies in the league – after scoring four times in his last three games. Captain Jonathan Toews also is warming up with seven points – two in the 3-1 victory over Buffalo on Friday – in as many contests. Erik Gustafsson has earned a consistent spot on the blue line for the Blackhawks while notching five assists and a plus-9 rating in 12 games since being recalled.
1. Colorado RW Jarome Iginla needs one goal to pass Jari Kurri (601) for 18th on the NHL’s all-time list after scoring twice in the last three games.
2. Chicago C Phillip Danault scored his first NHL goal in his 12th game on Friday, and it proved to be the game-winner.
3. The Avalanche have surrendered six power-play goals in their last five games while the Blackhawks are 0-for-7 with the man advantage over their past four contests.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 4, Avalanche 3