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Blackhawks can’t solve the Avalanche for a third time this season



CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 18: Valeri Nichushkin #13 of the Colorado Avalanche grabs the puck ahead of Dylan Strome #17 of the Chicago Blackhawks in the first period at the United Center on December 18, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – In every season, there is one team that gives a team fits over the course of 82 games.

They could be ahead of them in the standings or behind them, but for whatever reason, there is nothing that can be done for that one group against another. Right now in the 2019-2020 campaign, it looks like that might be the Colorado Avalanche for the Chicago Blackhawks.

For a third-straight time on Wednesday night, the hosts had no answer for their Central Division rivals.

Unable to break through on offense and a step behind on defense, the Blackhawks fell for a third time this season to the Avalanche, dropping a 4-1 decision at the United Center. All of these results have come in the last 20 days for Jeremy Colliton’s team, who have now lost eight of their last 11 games in regulation or overtime.

Colorado used goals from Andre Burakovsky and Nathan MacKinnon in the second period to break a 1-1 deadlock after the first 20 minutes, then added a late empty-net goal from Mikko Rantanen to finish off the Blackhawks. Ryan Carpenter’s first period goal was the only score for the home team, who had 32 shots on goal for the evening.