Final

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Monday, November 3rd
Avalanche2Final
Blackhawks6
Game 2: Friday, December 12th
Blackhawks4Final
Avalanche3
Game 3: Thursday, January 8th
Blackhawks1Final
Avalanche2
Game 4: Sunday, March 8th
Avalanche5Final
Blackhawks1

Avalanche 2

(5-7-0, 10 pts)

Blackhawks 6

(6-3-3, 15 pts)

8:30 PM ET, November 3, 2008

United Center, Chicago, Illinois

1 2 3 T
COL 1 0 12
CHI 0 2 46

A. Ladd (Blackhawks - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

P. Sharp (Blackhawks - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

T. Brouwer (Blackhawks - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Sharp, Ladd blast Avs with two goals, assist each

Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks are off to their best start in seven seasons, the last time they made the playoffs.

Fast Facts

• At 6-3-3, the Blackhawks are off to their best start in seven seasons.

• Chicago remained unbeaten in regulation at home at 5-0-2.

• The Avs have now lost four straight after a five-game winning streak.

-- ESPN research and The Associated Press

Patrick Sharp and Andrew Ladd each had two goals and an assist, leading the Blackhawks over the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 on Monday night for their third straight victory.

Troy Brouwer and Cam Barker also scored for Chicago, which improved to 6-3-3 overall and remained unbeaten in regulation at home (5-0-2).

"So far we've been pretty good at home," Ladd said. "Something we've stressed as a team is to make it hard for other teams to come into this building."

The Blackhawks also were 6-3-3 through their first 12 games in '01-02, the only season in the last 10 when they qualified for the postseason.

On Monday, Chicago launched a string of five straight home games by pulling away late. The Blackhawks led just 3-2 early in the third, but Sharp connected twice and Ladd scored once in the final 9:28 of regulation to seal the victory.

"We talked about how we want to gather up as many points as we can in this homestand," said Sharp, who leads Chicago with nine goals and 16 points. "It was a good first game. We're learning how to win games."

The Blackhawks improved to 5-1-2 under coach Joel Quenneville, who replaced Denis Savard on Oct. 16 four games into the season. Quenneville, who coached Colorado the last three seasons, faced his old team for the first time.

"I'm glad it's over with," Quenneville said. "It's tricky, kind of like playing against your old buddies, but at the same time we mean business."

Ben Guite and Milan Hejduk scored for the Avalanche, who lost their fourth straight. Peter Budaj stopped 31 shots.

"The last 30 minutes of the game were pretty tough to watch," Colorado coach Tony Granato said. "The first 30 minutes we came and played with intensity and had chance to win."

Colorado's Adam Foote assisted on Guite's goal, giving him 181 assists with the Avalanche and tying Sandis Ozolinsh's team record for defensemen.

Guite scored the lone goal of the first period with 3:38 left on a shot Khabibulin misplayed. Guite's 40-foot drive from right wing struck Khabibulin's stick, then rolled under him and over the goal line.

Ladd tied it at 1 early in the second. From the low edge of the left circle, he ripped in a rebound of Dustin Byfuglien's shot from the slot.

Brouwer's goal gave Chicago a 2-1 lead with 2:19 left in the second. As Brouwer skated to the net, Sharp's shot glanced off the back of his leg. The puck rolled toward the goal and Brouwer stuffed it in.

Barker's power-play goal at 1:21 of the third made it 3-1. His screened drive from the slot slipped between Budaj's pads.

Just less than a minute later, Hejduk cut it to 3-2 on a shot from the right circle that beat Khabibulin just inside the left post.

Sharp made it 4-2 midway through the third when he scored from between the circles to complete a 3-on-2 break.

Ladd fired in his second goal from a sharp angle left of the net with just more than four minutes left to make it 5-2. Sharp's second goal, from the slot, completed the scoring with 2:34 left.

Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin made 24 saves.

Game notes


Quenneville compiled a 131-92-23 record in three seasons with Colorado, but his contract was not renewed after the Avalanche were eliminated in the second round of the 2008 playoffs. ... The Blackhawks' next road game is Nov. 18 at Phoenix when they begin a six-game trip.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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