Patrick Kane was fairly succinct at first when talking about his very lengthy point streak coming to an end on Tuesday night.
“Didn’t have it tonight…” he said.
That could describe the Blackhawks as a whole on Tuesday, too.
Semyon Varlamov stopped all 29 shots he saw and Patrick Kane’s point streak was snapped at a franchise-best 26 games as the Avalanche beat the Blackhawks 3-0 on Tuesday night. It was a rare quiet night for Kane, who was held without a shot. In the end, Kane sounded a bit relieved it was over.
“It was a good run,” he said. “When you have to talk about it every day it gets a little taxing, but I’m excited just to play hockey now.”
It was also a frustrating night overall for the Blackhawks, who were stymied by Varlamov again.
“Well, he’s a good goalie,” Duncan Keith said. “They played a good, solid game. Give them credit. At the same time we weren’t as sharp as we can be or as direct as we needed to be.”
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The Avs have a habit of ending great runs for the Blackhawks, be it team or individual. In 2013 it was the Avs who ended the Blackhawks’ 24-game unbeaten streak. On Tuesday they stifled Kane and got just enough past Corey Crawford, whose shutout streak ended at 155 minutes, 16 seconds.
“The way they check and the way they play, they get a lead like that and it gets frustrating. They’ve got everybody back and they’re just looking to kill plays and frustrated you,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We got behind and that’s exactly what turned out to be a tough night across the board.”
Varlamov continued his strong outings against the Blackhawks, too. Varlamov, who got his first shutout of the season tonight, is now 11-3-0 in his career vs. the Blackhawks.
Colorado broke through Crawford when Matt Duchene’s shot went off Marcus Kruger’s stick late in the first period. It was the first goal Crawford had allowed since Nashville forward Eric Nystrom scored against him late in the second period last Tuesday. Zach Redmond gave the Avalanche a 2-0 lead early in the second period and Gabriel Landeskog added an empty-net goal with 1:57 remaining in regulation.
The Blackhawks’ attempts to get anything going, however, proved futile. Marian Hossa had a noticeable night – he had a team-high six shots on goal. But Quenneville said the Blackhawks didn’t make things tough enough on Varlamov.
“He keeps them in games sometimes early, although our shot selections when we did have chances were poor,” he said. “I thought he saw a lot of pucks tonight as well.”
All good things must end, from point streaks to shutout streaks to winning streaks. The Blackhawks hit an unwelcome trifecta on Tuesday.
“It wasn’t our best game and they got a good skating team. It was a big two points and that’s what we’re disappointed about,” Keith said. “We need to be better and we have to regroup now.”