CHICAGO – The Colorado Avalanche have found life on the road simply perfect.
Joakim Lindstrom scored the only goal in the shootout and the Avalanche won their sixth straight away from home this season by beating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 on Saturday night.
Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves through overtime, then stopped Viktor Stalberg, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in the shootout to help Colorado (6-2) extend its record streak of road wins from the start of the season.
Avalanche rookie Gabriel Landeskog’s second goal of the game with 1:48 left in the third period tied it 4-4 and forced overtime. He broke in alone on goalie Corey Crawford after taking a pass from Ryan O’Reilly.
“We know what we have to do on the road to get the win,” Landeskog said. “We stick to our game plan: keep working hard, which makes us successful.
“Everyone was going. Var made some huge saves back there, as usual, and we kept working hard.”
Paul Stastny and David Jones also scored in regulation for the Avalanche, who couldn’t hold a two-goal lead after two periods. Colorado needed late heroics from Landeskog and Lindstrom to improve to 6-0 on the road.
Toews, Jamal Mayers and Marian Hossa scored in the third period as Chicago dominated and pulled ahead. Hossa’s deflection with 5:27 left gave the Blackhawks a 4-3 lead.
“Any time you can come into this building in Chicago and take two points on the road, it’s certainly a big victory for our team,” Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. “And the way we did it, too. Being down a goal late in the game, and again showing some resiliency.
“Some of the guys we have, they’re feeling pretty good about themselves in the shootout,” he added. “(Landeskog) continues to impress for an 18-year old, continues to develop in the right way.”
Michael Frolik also scored in regulation for the Blackhawks, who dropped the second game of a home-and-home set after winning 3-1 in Denver on Thursday.
Despite the Blackhawks’ comeback, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville was angry about his team’s defensive play.
“Their four goals were cardinal sins of how we defended,” Quenneville said. “How we played situation plays, that all led to their goals.
“All the plays we talk about daily, we played them poorly,” he added. “Every goal was directly our responsibility. They progressively got worse to me.”
Crawford stopped 20 shots through overtime, and then turned aside Milan Hejduk and Matt Duchene in the shootout before Lindstrom faked him out of position for the game-winner.
The Avalanche, who entered with the NHL’s best power play (29.2 per cent), didn’t have a man advantage.
Stastny got credit for the only goal of the first period with 3:50 remaining. Kyle Quincey lobbed a shot through traffic from the left point, and the puck deflected in off Stastny.
Frolik tied it with an unassisted goal 46 seconds into the second period after he picked off Erik Johnson’s clearing attempt from behind the net and whipped it past Varlamov.
Jones’ fluke goal at 7:41 put Colorado ahead. His centring attempt from the side of the net struck Crawford’s stick, popped into the air, rolled over Crawford’s arm and into the net.
Landeskog stretched it to 3-1 with 6:35 left in the period when he bolted to the crease and slammed in O’Reilly’s feed from behind the net.
Toews knocked in a rebound with 55 seconds left in the second for a power-play goal that cut the Blackhawks’ deficit to 3-2.
Mayers was credited with a goal that tied it at 3 at 4:35 of the third. Varlamov stopped Mayers’ drive from the right circle, but the rebound caromed into the slot and bounced in off the left skate of Colorado defenceman Shane O’Brien.
Hossa deflected in a shot by Duncan Keith with 5:27 left in the third to put Chicago ahead 4-3.
The Blackhawks had several good chances on a power play early in overtime. Hejduk hit the post with a wraparound shot in the final seconds.
NOTES: The Blackhawks unveiled bronze statues of Hall of Famers Bobby Hull and StanMikita outside the United Center before the game. Both Hull and Mikita took part in the ceremony. Landeskog, the second pick overall in the 2011 draft, has four goals and an assist in his first eight games. Colorado C Peter Mueller (head) missed his fifth straight game. Chicago D Sami Lepisto, LW Rostizlav Olesz, and LW/D John Scott were healthy scratches. The crowd of 21,318 was the Blackhawks 150th straight sellout.