Monday, June 5

Avalanche blanks Blackhawks behind Pavel Francouz’s second straight shutout


Avalanche goalkeeping and the club’s overall ability to defend are on an impressive run.

Goaltender Pavel Francouz produced the third shutout of his NHL career, and the second in a row, to lead the Avalanche to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night at Ball Arena.

It marked the fourth straight game that Colorado allowed two goals or fewer, with only four goals allowed in total during that period. Darcy Kuemper, who was Francouz’s backup against the Blackhawks, is 10-0-1 in his last 13 games.

“It’s been great. Both guys are playing unrealistically,” Rantanen said of the Avs’ goalkeeping tandem of Francouz and Kuemper. “Put either one on and we have a great chance to win.”

Forwards Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen scored goals to help extend Colorado’s home winning streak to 16 games, tied for the fifth-longest in NHL history. The Boston Bruins also won 16 in a row at home in 1976.

The Avs, who have an NHL-best record of 27-4-3 since Oct. 28, are 12-0-1 in January, tying the club record for most wins in any month.

And Colorado, which took a 2-0 lead on Rantanen’s team-leading 22nd goal at 6:41 of the third period, collected a point for the 18th straight game (17-0-1) at Ball Arena. , now the longest such streak. in the history of the club.

“The way the game went, I could see a big difference when we scored the first goal,” said Francouz, who made 23 saves. “We dominated the third, we played very well.”

Chicago (15-20-7) played much better than their record. Colorado (29-8-3) didn’t score for half of the game until Kadri hit. The first goal of the game finally came at 11:24 of the second period, completing a furious Avalanche power play while Chicago defenseman Seth Jones was in the penalty box for interference.

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Kadri hit a chip pass from Nathan MacKinnon and the puck sailed past goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury and across the goal line.


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