CHICAGO – Jonathan Toews scored nine seconds into overtime and had an assist in regulation to lead the Chicago Blackhawks past the Colorado Avalanche, 2-1 on Tuesday night.
The game-winner was generated directly from the faceoff at center ice. Toews pulled the draw to Duncan Keith, who fed Patrick Kane on the right side. Kane fed Toews on a 2-on-1 and the Chicago captain chipped his 18th goal past Semyon Varlamov from the low edge the right circle.
Chicago’s Jean-Francois Berube stopped 33 shots and Erik Gustafsson connected in the first, as the fading Blachawks won for the second time in five games.
Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon extended his points streak to six games with his team-leading 32nd goal in the second period. MacKinnon has seven goals and six assists during the run, and eight goals and nine assists in his last eight games.
Varlamov stopped 25 shots as the Avalanche lost their second straight but pulled even with the idle Los Angeles Kings, who are in the second Western Conference wild-card spot.
Gustafsson was credited with opening the scoring 5:08 into the game.
The defenseman whipped a crisp pass from the top of the left circle toward Kane at the right side of the crease. Kane was covered by Colorado’s Patrik Nemeth, but the puck deflected off Nemeth’s left skate and into the net.
MacKinnon’s power-play goal with 3:42 left in the second tied it. After taking a cross-ice feed from Tyson Barrie, MacKinnon fired in a high shot from the left circle, beating Berube on the stick side as the goalie slid across the crease.
An apparent goal by Chicago’s Brandon Saad with 1:17 left in the period was disallowed after a video review determined Saad kicked the puck into the net with his right skate.
Capping a spinning move, Kane fed the puck across the crease to Saad on the left side of the net. The puck struck Saad and a replay showed him sweeping it just over the goal line.
Varlamov stopped Chicago rookie Alex DeBrincat on a point-blank deflection 2 minutes into the scoreless third. He made a close-in glove save on Toews minutes later.
Colorado’s J.T. Compher fired a rebound wide of a partly open net with 5:40 left in regulation.
Each team failed to convert a power play late in the third.
NOTES: Avalanche C Colin Wilson missed his second game after suffering a head injury against Minnesota last Friday. . Earlier on Tuesday, the Blackhawks signed Gustafsson to a two-year contract extension and F Tyler Sikura to a one-year contract for 2018-19. The 25-year-old Gustafsson played his 20th game this season with Chicago on Tuesday night. Sikura, also 25, has skated with AHL Rockford, where he leads the farm team with 16 goals in his first season there. He’s the older brother of Blackhawks prospect Dylan Sikura, who’s finishing his senior year at Northeastern University. Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has said he wants to sign Dylan after the NCAA season ends.
UP NEXTAvalanche: Visit Columbus on Thursday night.
Blackhawks: Host Carolina on Thursday night.