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5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30 BRT, January 28, 2022
United Center, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 17,992

Streaking Avs, likely without Nathan MacKinnon, visit Blackhawks

Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks

  1. The Avalanche look to make it four wins in as many matchups versus the Blackhawks this season as they face Chicago for the second time this week. Pavel Francouz turned aside 24 shots for his second consecutive shutout in powering Colorado -- 13-0-1 in its last 14 games overall -- to a 2-0 victory Monday night.
  2. The Avs are looking to post 15-game point streaks in back-to-back seasons, having gone 13-0-2 from March 10-April 5 last season. In the last 30 seasons, only two NHL teams have posted 15-game point streaks in consecutive seasons (Boston in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and San Jose in 2007-08 and 2008-09).
  3. Cale Makar is already tied for fourth among Avalanche defensemen for goals in a single season in franchise history with 17, trailing only Sandis Ozolinsh (23), Jeff Brown (21), and Steve Duchesne (20). His 15.7 shooting percentage is also on pace to be a franchise record for defensemen, which was set by Tyson Barrie at 12.9 percent in 2013-14.
  4. The Blackhawks are 0-4-4 in their last eight games against division rivals since a 3-2 victory over St. Louis back in November. Chicago is looking to avoid its first nine-game winless streak in divisional games in a single season since going 10 straight without a win in 1997-98 season.
  5. Captain Jonathan Toews needs one more goal to become the sixth player in team history with 350 goals. Toews has gone 10 consecutive games without a goal and has tallied just four this season, well behind the pace of his all-time low for a season (18 in 2020-21).
  6. Coming off his first hat trick and first four-point game of his career in Wednesday's win at Detroit, Dylan Strome has never scored goals in back-to-back games in which one game was at home and one was on the road. He has scored goals in consecutive home games and consecutive road games a total of four times over his career.
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Colorado Avalanche are expected to be without star forward Nathan MacKinnon when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

MacKinnon was injured Wednesday in the first period against the Boston Bruins when his own stick struck him in the face as he was hit by Bruins forward Taylor Hall. He left the game and was not expected to travel with the team to Chicago.

MacKinnon is third on the team with 43 points and second in assists with 34.

"I didn't love the hit," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "Whether it's really solid or just a glancing blow, it's the type of hit the league is trying to get rid of."

The Avalanche rallied from a two-goal deficit entering the third period to secure a 4-3 overtime win against the Bruins. Colorado has won eight straight and is rolling right through January, going 13-0-1 in 14 games this month. It's a franchise record for most wins in a single month.

"You're trying to extend the streak you got going," Bednar said. "Guys don't want to lose. We were committed to our team game tonight against a really good team. To be able to stick with it, it's the belief. That's our biggest win of the year."

The Blackhawks are looking to win their second straight after snapping an 0-2-2 slide with an 8-5 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. The last game of the skid was a 2-0 loss to the Avalanche in Denver on Monday.

Interim coach Derek King put an emphasis on a stronger net-front presence after that game and got results against Detroit, with four of Chicago's first five tallies coming in the area around the crease.

"Much better," King said. "And there's still room for improvement. Rome wasn't built in a day, they say, I guess. We'll keep picking away at it and keep hounding on them about getting to the front of the net."

Dylan Strome scored his first NHL hat trick and added an assist, giving him nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past eight games.

"It's my first hat trick since the 2017 Memorial Cup, so it had been a long time," Strome said. "I've felt good for the last 12 or 13 games, and once the offense starts going, you remember they signed you to a contract for a reason. I'm still trying to prove that."

It's the fourth and final meeting between the two clubs this season. The Blackhawks have yet to beat the Avalanche, going 0-2-1 in those contests and getting outscored 10-5.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 28, 2022

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