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Chicago
Blackhawks
52-22-8
Colorado
Avalanche
43-30-9

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game recap

Blackhawks 5, Avalanche 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 2:49 AM

Associated Press

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Blackhawks 5, Avalanche 2
Chicago Blackhawks 5, Colorado Avalanche 2

DENVER (AP) - Colin Fraser scored twice, Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist and the Chicago Blackhawks moved closer to clinching the top seed in the Western Conference with a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.

Antti Niemi had 30 saves, Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg also scored and Tomas Kopecky had two assists for Chicago. The Blackhawks moved into a tie with San Jose for first in the Western Conference with 111 points and both teams have one game remaining.

Chicago can clinch the No. 1 seed with a win Sunday against Detroit or by tying the Sharks in points. Chicago holds the tiebreaker by having more wins than San Jose. The Sharks host Phoenix on Saturday.

If the Blackhawks hold on to the top seed, Friday's game was a preview of their first-round opponent. The Avalanche is locked into the eighth and final playoff spot, a big improvement from last year when the club finished in the conference cellar.

Although Chicago won the season series 3-1, the four games between the teams have been close. The first three games all went to a shootout, with Colorado winning one at home and the Blackhawks both games at the United Center.

Chicago made sure the final game didn't reach a shootout with an early flurry of goals. Fraser scored 6:20 into the game when he took a rebound off the back boards and beat Peter Budaj to make it 1-0.

Toews made it 2-0 4:35 later when he scored on the power play, his 25th goal of the season.

Sharp made it 3-0 with his 25th goal 7:21 into the second period before the Avalanche struck. Ryan O'Reilly was stopped on a point-blank shot on the power play before Ryan Stoa got Colorado on the scoreboard with his first NHL goal with 2:24 left in the second and the teams skating 4-on-4.

Darcy Tucker made it 3-2 with 7:11 left, but Fraser scored his sixth goal of the season and second of the game 38 seconds later to make it a two-goal game. Versteeg scored an empty-net goal with 1:21 left to seal the win.

Budaj had 32 saves for Colorado.

NOTES: Avalanche rookie Matt Duchene left the game in the first period with a torso injury and did not return. ... Avalanche C Peter Mueller is out indefinitely with a concussion suffered Sunday against San Jose. ... Chicago's 111 points are the most in franchise history.

scoring summary
1st Period
06:20
CHI
Colin Fraser (5) ASST: Tomas Kopecky (10), Brent Seabrook (26)
1 - 0 CHI
10:55
CHI
PPG - Jonathan Toews (25) ASST: Patrick Kane (57), Dustin Byfuglien (17)
2 - 0 CHI
2nd Period
07:21
CHI
Patrick Sharp (25) ASST: Jonathan Toews (42), Brent Sopel (7)
3 - 0 CHI
17:36
COL
Ryan Stoa (1) ASST: Paul Stastny (59), Ruslan Salei (5)
3 - 1 CHI
3rd Period
12:49
COL
Darcy Tucker (10) ASST: Brandon Yip (8), Ryan Wilson (17)
3 - 2 CHI
13:27
CHI
Colin Fraser (6) ASST: Tomas Kopecky (11), Ben Eager (9)
4 - 2 CHI
18:39
CHI
EN - Kris Versteeg (20) ASST: Andrew Ladd (21)
5 - 2 CHI
penalty summary
1st Period
09:54
COL
Chris Stewart  Holding against  Jonathan Toews
2nd Period
01:05
COL
Brandon Yip  Hi stick - double minor against  Duncan Keith
15:54
CHI
Duncan Keith  Hooking against  Chris Stewart
17:18
COL
Darcy Tucker  Unsportsmanlike conduct
3rd Period
01:25
COL
Kyle Cumiskey  Holding against  Patrick Kane
10:49
CHI
Andrew Ladd  Slashing against  Paul Stastny
goalie stats
Antti Niemi
Antti Niemi
26-7-3
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
Saves: 30EV: 25 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .938SH: 0 - 0
Peter Budaj
SA: 36TOI: 59:22
Saves: 32EV: 27 - 30
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .889SH: 1 - 1
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