Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche

Avalanche hope to gain momentum after stopping Blackhawks’ streak


The Colorado Avalanche entered Friday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks as one of the bottom dwellers in the NHL’s Western Conference.

They skated off the ice that same night as the only team needing just 60 minutes to beat the Blackhawks so far this season.

In fact, the Avalanche rolled to a convincing 6-2 victory over Chicago, which went 24 straight games without a regulation loss to start the 2013 campaign.

The Avalanche, with the win, moved two points ahead of the last-place Columbus Blue Jackets and a point ahead of the 14th-place Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference standings.

The Avalanche host the San Jose Sharks Sunday.

“It’s a great confidence booster,” Avalanche center Matt Duchene told

“It shows that we can play with anybody in this League. It’s one of the best teams in the whole National Hockey League. What a special run they had. It was pretty cool to end it, that’s for sure. It’s pretty special.”

The Avalanche fell earlier in the week to Chicago, losing 3-2 on Wednesday, extending the Blackhawks’ historical streak.

The Avalanche held a one-goal lead heading into the third period of that game, but gave up two goals – a Jonathan Toews short-handed marker and then from Dan Carcillo with 50 seconds remaining in regulation – in the third period, resulting in the loss.

That seemed to be forgotten about when the final buzzer sounded Friday.

“We want to use this is a springboard now,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog told The Denver Post.

“We know at the level we can play at now, but we have to keep doing it and not get all happy over just one win. We need to win every game right now.”


Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.