Not meant to be as Avs top Hawks 3-2 in OT - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Not meant to be as Avs top Hawks 3-2 in OT

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Sometimes the better team doesn't win and that was the case on Tuesday night at the United Center. The Blackhawks outshot, out-chanced, won more faceoffs and dominated Colorado the majority of the time. In the most important category, goals scored, the Avalanche had an advantage and skated away with a 3-2 overtime victory.

Colorado's goaltender Semyon Varlamov was very good, as the Blackhawks pounded 48 shots on net. It wasn't as if Varlamov soaked up every shot, there were many rebound chances. The Hawks had a ton of offensive zone time but for one reason or an other couldn't convert on rebounds.

Corey Crawford wasn't at the top of his game. At times he looked to be fighting the puck. That said this loss shouldn't be hung on Crawford. He had little chance on any of the goals as Colorado took a two goal lead into the middle frame. The Av's converted on two power plays and the opening goal of the game was a screen shot.

To sum up why the Blackhawks lost could probably be blamed on three factors.

They fell behind by two goals, were 0-5 on the power play, and only batted 50 percent on the penalty kill going 2-4. If a team falls behind by two goals against a better club, special teams usually have to come up strong for a comeback chance. Certainly if the power play fires blanks the PK has to be about perfect and that wasn't the case Tuesday night.

In total the Blackhawks were focused and except for taking four hooking penalties there is not a lot to fault. Some of the same flaws like penalty killing and coming up short in overtime do continue to haunt the Hawks. So far this season Chicago is winless in OT, having lost five games in the extra period.

The struggles for Bryan Bickell persist and it looks like Joel Quenneville may have lost his patience. Quenneville benched the left winger in the third period after skating one shift which was only 12 seconds long. Bickell had one shot, no hits, was a minus one for the game and recorded a total of 6:34 of ice time.

There were fine individual efforts including that of Marian Hossa. Hossa was all over the ice and is a load to play against. Hossa had an assist on three shots and was credited with one takeaway. Hossa ranks second in the NHL in takeaways and still at 35-years-old is one of the best two way forwards in the game.

The Jonathan Toews line always seemed to be swarming the net. Patrick Sharp was credited with a game high nine shots but was held without a point. Toews led all faceoff men by winning 72 percent of his draws but like Sharp was scoreless.

The newly formed second line was noticeable although they are still getting to know one another. Patrick Kane had five shots, and he too didn't stain the scoresheet. Andrew Shaw had a nifty rebound goal and an assist. Brandon Saad was one of the better Chicago forwards and notched two assists. Saad was in position to score a few times but was just not able to connect. Johnny Oduya did tip in a Saad shot for his third goal this season.

Toews was called for a costly hooking penalty in extra time but until then the Hawks were dominating play. Niklas Hjalmarsson recorded six shots on goal but his clearing attempt in overtime was deflected. The failed clearing attempt, while Toews was in the penalty box, led to the game winner by Tyson Barrie. That was the Colorado defenseman's second goal of the night.

The Avalanche have given the Hawks problems this season and deserve some credit. They capitalized on opportunities and had 23 blocked shots. There was no wilt in the Avalanche although being outplayed and without one of their top players in the injured Paul Stastny.

The Blackhawks will have to wait until Friday night to get a home ice win. It won't be easy as the NHL's top team, the Anaheim Ducks will be their opponent.

I will be back on Saturday morning and you can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia.

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