Blackhawks strike fast in third to rally past Avalanche

Jonathan Toews scored twice, and Richard Panik and Artemi Panarin each had one in a span of 3:02 in the third period to erase Colorado’s two-goal lead and rally the Chicago Blackhawks past the Avalanche 6-3 on Sunday night for their fifth straight win.

The Colorado Avalanche had a rough third period in their 6-3 loss to Chicago on Sunday. (Caylor Arnold/USA Today Sports)
The Avalanche had a rough third period Sunday. (Caylor Arnold/USA Today Sports)
The Avalanche had a rough third period Sunday. (Caylor Arnold/USA Today Sports)

By Matt Carlson, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Jonathan Toews scored twice, and Richard Panik and Artemi Panarin each had one in a span of 3:02 in the third period to erase Colorado’s two-goal lead and rally the Chicago Blackhawks past the Avalanche 6-3 on Sunday night for their fifth straight win.

Patrick Kane scored his team-leading 32nd goal, and Marcus Kruger added an empty-netter for Chicago, which won for the 17th time in its last 20 games to pull seven points ahead of slumping second-place Minnesota in the Central Division. The Wild dropped their fifth straight, 5-4 to Winnipeg on Sunday.

With Chicago trailing 3-1, Toews tipped in Kane’s bouncing shot at 10:17 of the third period to cut it to 3-2. The goal withstood a video review that showed Toews may have been offside.

Panik rifled in a loose puck from the slot 17 seconds later to tie it at 3. Panarin put Chicago ahead 4-3 just 17 seconds after that on a shot from the right circle that deflected in off the shoulder of Colorado goalie Jeremy Smith.

Toews stretched it to 5-3 with his 20th goal on a wrist shot from the left circle with 6:41 to go.

Mikhail Grigorenko scored twice and Sven Andrighetto had a goal for the last-place Avalanche.

Chicago backup Scott Darling stopped 22 shots to extend his winning streak to six games.

The 27-year-old Smith made 28 saves in his seventh NHL appearance and sixth start. His only win was on Feb. 25 when Colorado beat Buffalo 5-3.

The 22-year-old Grigorenko, a scratch in Detroit on Saturday, ended an eight-game drought with his eighth and ninth goals. Andrighetto, acquired from Montreal at the NHL traded deadline, scored his second goal in eight games with the Avalanche.

Kane opened the scoring 4:33, ripping a feed from Panarin past Smith high on the stick side to complete a 2-on-1 break.

Grigorenko tied it at 1 at 8:14 when he fooled Darling from a scramble in front with a low shot to the lower right corner.

Grigorenko struck again with 3:24 left in the period to make it 2-1. He backed in Brent Seabrook as he moved in 1-on-1 against the veteran defenseman, then popped an off-balance shot that clanked off the right post and in.

Darling made a point-blank pad stop on Mikko Rantanen with 7:05 left in the second, then a close-in glove save on Joe Colborne about two minutes later to keep the margin at one goal.

But with 3:35 left the period, Andrighetto cut across the crease unchecked in front of Chicago defensemen Trevor van Riemsdyk and Brian Campbell and neatly tipped Mark Barberio’s drive over Darling’s glove to increase Colorado’s lead to 3-1.