DENVER – Maintaining control of the top spot in the NHL was of more concern to the Chicago Blackhawks than avenging their shocking loss to the Colorado Avalanche on March 8.
Still, the Blackhawks were plenty pleased to exit the Pepsi Center on Monday night with a 5-2 win in the building where the Avalanche handed them a 6-2 loss that ended their season-opening 24-game streak of earning at least one point.
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each had a goal and two assists, and goalie Ray Emery made 17 saves to stretch his league record for consecutive wins without a loss to start a season to 11.
The Blackhawks have won the first three games of a four-game road trip that ends Wednesday in Anaheim against the Pacific Division-leading Ducks.
Right wing Marian Hossa didn't play after the first period; no explanation was given during the game.
The Blackhawks bolted to a quick 2-0 lead in the opening period on goals by Jimmy Hayes and Andrew Shaw 57 seconds apart on consecutive shots against Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov.
Hayes, playing in his third game of the season, was in the slot when he converted a pass from Kane at 3:47. Kane intercepted an Avalanche pass in the right corner to set up the goal.
Shaw scored on a 2-on-1 rush with Viktor Stalberg at 4:44.
The Avalanche cut the margin to 2-1 with 33.4 seconds remaining in the period on Gabriel Landeskog's shorthanded goal, Colorado's first such goal of the season. After Varlamov made a stop against Brandon Saad, Matt Duchene passed to Landeskog, who powered his way past Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook on his way to the net.
It was the first shorthanded goal of the season for Colorado, and the first of Landeskog's career. The Colorado captain is now on a three-game goal streak, his longest of his career.
But Landeskog's tally was as close as the Avalanche would come.
The Blackhawks got goals from Kane and Seabrook in the second period for a 4-1 lead before the Avalanche's Milan Hejduk scored at 18:34 with a shot from the right circle. The goal was the 375th of Hejduk's career, tying him for 104th place on the all-time list with Butch Goring and Trevor Linden.
Kane, who has four goals and six assists in a four-game point-scoring streak, scored at 7:49 from deep on the left side. Seabrook scored on a one-timer from the left circle after a cross-ice pass from Kane.
Kane nearly added to his total at 1:30 of the third period when he skated down the middle on a clean breakaway. Varlamov denied him by swatting the puck away with his glove.
Toews closed out the scoring at 16:30 of the third period.
Colorado closes out its three-game homestand on Wednesday night against Dallas.