Final SO

Series (Game 3 of 4)

Chicago leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 10th
Game 2: Friday, November 6th
Game 3: Wednesday, November 11th
Game 4: Friday, April 9th

Avalanche 2

(12-4-3, 27 pts)

Blackhawks 3

(10-5-2, 22 pts)

8:30 PM ET, November 11, 2009

United Center, Chicago, Illinois

1 2 3 SO T
COL 1 1 0 02
CHI 1 0 1 13

P. Sharp (Blackhawks - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

D. Keith (Blackhawks - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

C. Huet (Blackhawks - G): Saves: 25, Save Pct.: .926

Avalanche-Blackhawks Preview


The return of Jonathan Toews from an injury gave the Chicago Blackhawks a boost. The Colorado Avalanche hope Darcy Tucker can do the same for them.

The Blackhawks seek their fifth straight home win Wednesday night as they meet the Colorado Avalanche in the third of four meetings this season.

Chicago (9-5-2) defeated Colorado 4-3 on Oct. 10 at the United Center as Andrew Ladd scored in the ninth round of a shootout. The Avalanche returned the favor by the same score on Friday in Denver, as Chris Stewart scored in the eighth round of a tiebreaker.

The Blackhawks extended their home winning streak with a 4-1 victory over Los Angeles on Monday. Toews returned after missing six games with a concussion and scored a power-play goal in the third period to give Chicago a 3-1 lead.

"I felt great on the ice," said Toews, who scored a team-high 34 goals last season but has only two in 2009-10. "If you look at a lot of our games in the past couple weeks, they were low-scoring. We struggled a bit on the power play. That was the difference tonight."

Chicago was mediocre with Toews out of the lineup, going 3-2-1 and outscoring the opposition 12-11. The Blackhawks went 3 for 27 with the man advantage minus their captain.

Troy Brouwer also scored on the power play against the Kings, marking the first time since Oct. 3 that the Blackhawks scored multiple goals with the extra man.

"We're playing with urgency," forward John Madden told the Blackhawks' official Web site. "We started slipping and we can't do that. We have to get back to the way we were playing at the start of the season."

While the Blackhawks welcomed Toews back, they learned Tuesday that they will be without Dave Bolland for up to four months following back surgery. The 23-year-old center has six points in 13 games this season after setting career highs with 19 goals and 47 points in 2008-09.

Colorado (12-4-2), which continues to be the surprise leader in the Northwest Division, will try to bounce back from its first home loss of the season. Craig Anderson gave up three power-play goals in the first period of a 5-3 defeat to Edmonton on Sunday.

"We just didn't do a good job of killing penalties tonight," first-year coach Joe Sacco said. "We weren't good enough on the penalty kill, bottom line."

The Avalanche allowed six power-play goals in 14 chances during a 2-1-0 homestand.

Colorado is expected to have Tucker back in the lineup after an eight-game absence. The gritty forward was injured and removed on a backboard Oct. 23 after taking a hard hit from Carolina's Tuomo Ruutu.

"I'm looking forward to getting back into a game situation," Tucker told the Avalanche's official Web site. "My number one goal from the time it happened until now was to get as healthy as I could as quick as I could."

Tucker has four goals and six points in 10 games this season. His return could spark a power-play unit that struggled without him, going 1 for 25 over the last eight games. Despite that futility, the Avalanche posted a 5-3-0 record.

Colorado may be without right wing Milan Hejduk for a second straight game due to a back injury. He has seven goals -- including a team-high four on the power play -- and seven assists in 17 games.

The teams wrap up their season series April 9 in Denver.