By Michael Kelly
Special contributor for CSNChicago.com
DENVER – Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are difficult to stop individually. When the Chicago Blackhawks’ pair are on the ice together, they are nearly impossible to contain.
The duo proved it again Thursday night and helped the Blackhawks to a sweep of their two-game road trip.
Kane had a goal and two assists, including one on Toews' game-winner at 3:29 of overtime, and Chicago beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3.
Artem Anisimov and Andrew Desjardins also had goals, and Scott Darling stopped 27 shots for the Blackhawks, who snapped a four-game losing streak to the Avalanche.
“We needed that one,” Toews said. “That team plays really well here. We didn’t have the effort we needed at home against Colorado so we returned the favor and got a big one tonight.”
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Toews got the game winner when he took a pass from Kane in front of Semyon Varlamov and roofed a shot. It was his fourth overtime goal of the season and 13th overall.
“He made a great play on the goal tonight,” Kane said. “That (defenseman) slid up with me I just slid it down to him, he made a great play being patient with it and getting it upstairs.”
The Blackhawks finally solved Varlamov, who was 8-0 in his last nine games against Chicago.
The Blackhawks had chances to expand their 3-2 lead early in the third but couldn’t capitalize. Varlamov made a diving blocker save on Phillip Danault early in the period. The Avalanche also killed off two power plays in the frame.
Chicago finished 2-for-6 on the power play.
Colorado tied it after the second kill when defenseman Erik Johnson skated into the zone with the puck and beat Darling through the legs with a shot from the right circle.
“They get back in the game 3-3, and I didn’t have a comfortable feeling so it’s nice to get that one off our back and maybe have a little more confidence going down the end with this team,” coach Joel Quenneville said.
The Blackhawks were swarming in the second, outshooting Colorado 17-5. They connected early when Desjardins tipped in a pass from Teuvo Teravainen at 2:07 for his fourth goal of the season. Kane gave Chicago a 3-1 lead with a power-play goal at 4:20 of the second. It was his team-leading 23rd of the season.
The Avalanche didn’t have many chances in the second but scored on one of them when Cody McLeod beat Darling with a shot from the slot at 11:32.
The start of the game had a familiar feel for the Blackhawks. Colorado took a 1-0 lead just 4:04 in when Carl Soderberg scored a power-play goal off a nice feed from Alex Tanguay.
The Blackhawks had chances but couldn’t solve Varlamov until late in the first. Anisimov tied it on a great pass from the slot by Kane at 18:32 and that seemed to energize Chicago.