The streak is over, the Chicago Blackhawks have finally lost a game in regulation.
And of all teams, it was the Colorado Avalanche, who have struggled at various points throughout the year, that did it. They nearly did it on Wednesday night before the Hawks grabbed the win with under a minute left. But on their home ice, the Avalanche managed to capture the win and end the streak.
A loss was bound to happen eventually for the Blackhawks, but the Avalanche made it count. This wasn’t a narrow victory. They ran circles around the Hawks for the majority of the game.
After Jonathan Toews got the scoring started, the Avs rattled off five straight unanswered goals. One of those goals came from Ryan O’Reilly, who posted his first goal since returning from his long contract dispute.
Of course, it was also made possible by Semyon Varlamov, who turned in another strong performance for the Avalanche. He was terrific against the Blackhawks on Wednesday night and did so again here in the win, saving 31 of a possible 33 shots on the night. He’s quietly having a very strong year.
You really have to wonder how much of an impact a win like this can have on the Avalanche, especially on the heels of a performance like they had against the Blackhawks on Wednesday. They played the best team in the league as well as any team had to this point in the season.
The Avalanche are only four points out of a playoff spot. They’re getting healthy and have Ryan O’Reilly back in the fold. This team isn’t quite finished yet this season, despite what many people may have thought.