Game 46 Preview: Colorado Avalanche (28-12-5) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (30-8-10)

Dec 27, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) being defended by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Andre Benoit (61) in the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche (28-12-5) are back in action after a win on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild on the road, 4-2. Ryan O’Reilly had a good game, scoring two of Colorado’s four goals to put the Avalanche in the win column. Tonight they stay on the road and will face the second-best team in the Western Conference, the Chicago Blackhawks (30-8-10).

What: Regular Season Game 46: Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks
When: Tuesday, January 14th
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Time: 8:00 PM ET, 6:00 PM MT
TV: Altitude Sports

This will be the third meeting between the Avalanche and Blackhawks this season as the Avalanche took the first game 5-1 on November 19th and most recently, the Blackhawks dominated the Avs 7-2 on December 27th. Colorado’s goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere was shaky to say the least as the veteran goalie allowed in 7 goals on just 24 shots. He would be replaced by starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov who went a perfect 13-of-13 on save opportunities. Patrick Sharp stole the show for the Blackhawks as the winger would score two goals in the first period, followed by another goal just 27 seconds into the second period for the hat-trick. His teammate Jonathan Toews had the hot-hand as well, scoring two goals as well as 2 assists.

Projected Starting Goaltenders:

Colorado Avalanche: Semyon Varlamov: 21-8-5, 2.35 GAA.
Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford: 17-7-6, 2.47 GAA.

Avalanche Notes:

Colorado Avalanche back-up goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere was held out of Avs practice on Monday morning due to back spasms. Avalanche would recall goaltender Sami Aittokallio from the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League. Here are some more notes from Adrian Dater of The Denver Post:

Also not at practice was Paul Stastny, who suffered a leg injury in Saturday’s game at Minnesota. Avs coach Patrick Roy said Stastny will be re-evaluated Tuesday morning and there was still a chance he could play. The Avs did not call up any forward replacement from Lake Erie.

Team Leaders:

Points:

Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, 39.
Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane, 56.

Goals:

Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, 16.
Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Sharp, 25.

Assists:

Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, 23.
Chicago Blackhawks: Duncan Keith, 41.

Penalty Minutes:

Colorado Avalanche: Cody McLeod, 80.
Chicago Blackhawks: Brandon Bollig, 65.

Shots on Goal:

Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, 136.
Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Sharp, 187.

Topics: Colorado Avalanche

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