Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks Pick & Prediction JANUARY 12th 2023

Stadium: United Center Chicago
Logo Colorado Avalanche
VS
Logo Chicago Blackhawks
0
OPENER
6.5

-1.5 -124
CURRENT
6.5o -115

-324
MONEYLINE
+278

2
SCORE
3

The Chicago Blackhawks' first winning streak since late October began with the team's first victory against a Central Division foe this season.

Extending that success will be the aim Thursday when the defending Central -- and Stanley Cup -- champion Colorado Avalanche visit United Center.

Victories on Friday against Arizona and Sunday over Calgary have boosted the Blackhawks to 2-2 on their seven-game homestand. It's the first time the club has won successive games since a run of four straight victories from Oct. 15-25.

Incidentally, veteran forward Patrick Kane (lower-body injury) has been out of the lineup during the surge, with the timetable for his return uncertain.

Kane said this week that although he's improving, he "just didn't feel right" during a Jan. 3 loss to Tampa Bay and likely shouldn't have played.

"The last two games, I think I probably could've played," Kane said. "It's just we knew we had these three days in between (before the Colorado game), so it's just better to be cautious with it and (I) had some treatment coming in, so just trying to be smart with it right now. But, hopefully, I'll be back soon."

His return Thursday is "doubtful," coach Luke Richardson said, as Kane remains day-to-day.

On Sunday, rookie Lukas Reichel helped fill the void, scoring his first career goal while assisting on two others, including Max Domi's game-winner at 1:04 of overtime.

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Chicago recalled Reichel, the team's top prospect, from AHL Rockford ahead of the Arizona game, and Richardson affirmed Reichel's latest stint with Chicago won't be abbreviated.

"It's not just a flash, coming up for a game or two," Richardson said. "I think it's just to give him an extended time to see if he can sustain what he's doing right now. I'm sure he's driven to do that."

Colorado comes to Chicago with losses in six of its past seven games (1-5-1). The Avalanche trailed Florida 4-1 after two periods Tuesday and rallied with the first three goals of the third before the Panthers' Matthew Tkachuk netted the game-winner on a power-play goal with 3:30 remaining.

"We didn't play well enough for 40 minutes, in my opinion," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "It's just not good enough. I think we get some shooting luck and more intensity to our game in our third and it starts to turn around for us, but it wasn't there. Didn't manage the puck good in the first. Didn't like the way we checked in the second."

J.T. Compher and Mikko Rantanen both had a goal and an assist for Colorado, which has been outscored 30-20 in regulation and overtime over the past seven games while struggling with slow starts.

"We know we have (the ability)," Colorado's Cale Makar said. "It's just, why is that not in the first and second period? We should be like that in the entire game because we know we're capable of it. It's just figuring out how we can do that."

Goaltender Alexandar Georgiev stopped 33 shots while starting his career-high 12th consecutive game.

Colorado defeated the visiting Blackhawks 5-2 on Oct. 12 in the season opener for both teams.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Colorado Avalanche
5
2
Chicago Blackhawks

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Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks Recap JAN 12TH 2023

Taylor Raddysh tapped in the game-winning goal in the third period and Petr Mrazek made 31 saves as the host Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Thursday night to extend their winning streak to three games.

Colorado's would-be game-tying goal from Alex Newhook with 4:51 remaining was overturned for goaltender interference following a Chicago challenge. The Avalanche have lost seven of eight.

Sam Lafferty and Andreas Athanasiou also scored for Chicago, which snapped Colorado's five-game winning streak in the series.

Raddysh put Chicago ahead for good at 6:36 of the third period after passes from Tyler Johnson and Jonathan Toews found him in prime position in front of the net.

Pavel Francouz stopped 27 of 30 shots for the Avalanche in his first action since Dec. 13 as he recovered from a lower-body injury.

On Thursday, Francouz spelled Alexandar Georgiev, who had started Colorado's previous 12 games.

Francouz was especially sharp in the second period, when he helped the Avalanche kill three penalties while making 13 saves.

The teams were a combined 0-for-8 on the power play.

The Blackhawks opened the scoring just 3:24 into the game when Lafferty took a pass from Colin Blackwell just inside the blue line and converted a breakaway. Evan Rodrigues tied the game just over eight minutes later as he scored on a rebound.

Athanasiou scored at 1:44 of the second to give the Blackhawks the lead on play that saw Mrazek notch the secondary assist, but Colorado answered again when Cale Makar tallied at 11:47 on a long wrist shot.

Nathan MacKinnon had two assists for the Avalanche.

Before the game, Chicago placed forward Patrick Kane (upper-body injury) on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 3. Kane, who has missed the past three games, is eligible to return as soon as Saturday.

MacKenzie Entwistle (right wrist) was activated from injured reserve in a corresponding move.

Mrazek notched his first win since Dec. 3.

--Field Level Media