Avalanche down Blackhawks to open back-to-back

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks
NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and three assists, J.T. Compher scored a goal and added two assists, and the visiting Colorado Avalanche beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Friday.


Cale Makar, Valeri Nichushkin and Ryan Graves also had goals and Pavel Francouz stopped 34 shots for the Avalanche, who have won two in a row.

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Patrick Kane and Zack Smith scored and Corey Crawford had 18 saves for the Blackhawks.


The teams meet again Saturday night in Denver in the second game of a back-to-back set.


The Avalanche played without forward Andre Burakovsky, who suffered an upper-body injury in Wednesday's win over Edmonton. He did not make the trip with the team and is considered day-to-day.


MacKinnon got things started just 59 seconds in when he tipped a shot by Compher past Crawford for his team-leading 16th goal.


Graves made it 2-0 when he scored off of a rebound of a Matt Nieto shot at 3:17 of the first. It was his third of the season.


Smith scored on a one-timer in front of the net on a feed from Ryan Carpenter at 9:14 of the first period. It was Smith's first of the season.


Three minutes later, Makar scored on the power play, his eighth of the season, to give the Avalanche a 3-1 lead at the first intermission.


It stayed a two-goal game until midway through the second. Nichushkin picked up the puck off of a faceoff in the Colorado end, skated past Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith and beat Crawford with a backhander at 9:45. It was his second of the season.


Compher scored his third 1:41 later to give the Avalanche a 5-1 lead, but Chicago cut it to a three-goal deficit when Kane scored his 13th with 3.5 seconds left in the second period.


--Field Level Media

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