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Chicago
Blackhawks
20-43-11-8
Colorado
Avalanche
40-22-13-7
OT
30 SOG
43 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTT
CHI
COL
game recap

Chicago Blackhawks 2, Colorado Avalanche 2 FINAL OT

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 12:27 AM

Associated Press

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Chicago Blackhawks 2, Colorado Avalanche 2 FINAL OT
Chicago Blackhawks 2, Colorado Avalanche 2

DENVER (AP) _ Michael Leighton denied the Colorado Avalanche an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot without help.

Leighton stopped 41 shots and Tyler Arnason scored Chicago's second goal of the third period with 1:40 left, helping the Blackhawks pull out a 2-2 tie against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

``This was all about heart and courage,'' Leighton said. ``Colorado is a team that has a chance to win a Stanley Cup. We want to prove we can play with any team in the league. We might not be in the playoffs, but we will hang in there until the end.''

With an assist from Nashville, which lost 4-1 to Anaheim, the Avalanche franchise clinched a playoff spot for the 10th year in a row.

Colorado scored just four goals in an 0-3 road trip last week, but seemed to get a spark from Peter Forsberg's return after he missed 17 games with a groin injury.

The Avalanche had good puck movement early and plenty of good scoring chances, outshooting Chicago 43-30 _ 11 by Joe Sakic.

But Leighton wouldn't let Colorado put the game away.

He faced 30 shots in the first two periods, making several spectacular saves to keep the Blackhawks within two goals.

``Leighton made big saves for them to keep it close, let's face it,'' Avalanche coach Tony Granato said. ``We had a lot of quality chances, a lot of great chances.''

The Blackhawks seemed to get a spark from Leighton's play in the first two periods and picked up the offensive pressure to start the third.

Jim Vandermeer cut the lead to 2-1 with a short-handed goal 4{ into the period, keeping it on a three-on-one and lifting a shot in off the crossbar. Arnason tied it by picking up a loose puck in the corner, deking past Sakic and beating Tommy Salo over his glove shoulder.

``We gave them life with the short-hander, and they made a couple of plays and a couple of good shots when they got their chances there,'' Granato said.

Chicago had several good scoring chances in overtime, but Salo was solid. He stopped four shots in the period, including a poke-check on Scott Nichol on a breakaway. Leighton was just as good, stopping five shots in the extra period.

``They had nothing to lose and they played like that,'' Salo said. ``It was pretty exciting. I think both goaltenders made some good saves.''

Forsberg provided a spark right off the bat, setting up Paul Kariya for a one-timer in front of the crease on his first shift. He later drew oohs and ahhs from the crowd with a pass between his legs and had a stuff shot from behind the goal pin against the post.

Forsberg also had a hand in Colorado's first goal, drawing two defenders along the sideboards before slipping a pass to Rob Blake along the goal line.

Blake had two teammates to pick from and chose Matthew Barnaby, who one-timed it past Leighton's stickside 1{ minutes into the second period.

Steve Konowalchuk made it 2-0 midway through the period, punching in a rebound after Leighton stopped Sakic's one-timer from the slot. The point was No. 1,400 for Sakic.

But that was it for the Avalanche.

``It's something we've got to learn to play with a 2-0 lead in the third period,'' Forsberg said. ``We kind of stopped playing and they came back. We played pretty solid for 40 minutes and gave it up in the end.''

Salo didn't. He was spectacular at times in his second start since being traded from Edmonton on March 9.

Salo's best of the first period came on consecutive shots by Eric Nickulas and Igor Korolev after a dump-in took a strange carom to just in front of the crease.

He also made a diving stop late in the second period and crawled back to his crease before the Blackhawks could get off another shot. That one drew a standing ovation from the crowd and a big tap on the pads from teammate Bob Boughner.

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
01:29
COL
Matthew Barnaby (15) Wrist shot - ASST: Paul Kariya (22), Peter Forsberg (32)
1 - 0 COL
11:54
COL
Steve Konowalchuk (18) Wrist shot - ASST: Joe Sakic (53), Milan Hejduk (39)
2 - 0 COL
3rd Period
04:10
CHI
SHG - Jim Vandermeer (5) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
2 - 1 COL
18:20
CHI
Tyler Arnason (22) Wrist shot - ASST: Matt Keith (2), Bryan Berard (30)
2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
06:24
COL
Matthew Barnaby  Roughing against  Scott Nichol
11:29
CHI
Scott Nichol  Tripping against  Joe Sakic
13:53
COL
Chris Gratton  Hooking against  Tuomo Ruutu
17:16
CHI
Bryan Berard  Hooking against  Steve Konowalchuk
2nd Period
11:58
COL
Matthew Barnaby  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Mark Bell
11:58
CHI
Mark Bell  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Matthew Barnaby
16:04
CHI
Mark Bell  Interference against  Rob Blake
3rd Period
03:10
CHI
Ryan Vandenbussche  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Peter Worrell
05:05
COL
John-Michael Liles  Holding against  Scott Nichol
08:25
COL
Robert Boughner  Interference against  Eric Nickulas
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Michael Leighton
Michael Leighton
SA: 43TOI: 65:00
Saves: 41EV: 31 - 33
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 9
SV%: .953SH: 1 - 1
Tommy Salo
SA: 30TOI: 65:00
Saves: 28EV: 23 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .933SH: 0 - 1
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