CHICAGO -- About seven hours before puck drop at the United Center, Matt Duchene sat in the Avalanche dressing room and spoke of the Blackhawks as being an example of how to play in the NHL.
"A great kind of big brother team for us to look at is the Chicago Blackhawks," Duchene said. "They play a great brand of hockey. They take care of their own end but when it's time to go on offense they go and make teams panic."
Little brother didn't panic in the face of a Hawks shot onslaught Tuesday night as Tyson Barrie scored on a one-timer from the left circle with 50.7 seconds left in overtime to give the Avalanche a 3-2 victory before a crowd of 21,412.
Barrie and Ryan O'Reilly had goals in regulation for the Avalanche, who got a sparkling performance from goaltender Semyon Varlamov to defeat the Hawks for the second time in three tries this season.
The Hawks rallied from a two-goal, first-period deficit with scores from Johnny Oduya and Andrew Shaw but in the end, netminder Corey Crawford suffered the loss as the defending Stanley Cup champions dropped to 30-8-11 on the season. The Hawks sent a total of 88 shots toward the Avalanche goal, including 48 that reached Varlamov.
"We knew he is a good goalie, probably top two or three in the league and that showed pretty obvious," Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. "He played great for them. At the same time, we have to find a way to get the puck in the net. They played pretty solid defensively but we had enough chances to win the game. We just let this one slip away."
The Hawks dominated all but about a minute of the opening period yet when the horn sounded for the first intermission they found themselves trailing 2-0.
Varlamov was tested early and kept the Hawks off the scoreboard with strong saves on Bryan Bickell, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook and a big stop on a short-handed Ben Smith breakaway.
At the other end, Crawford wasn't tested often but the Avs took the lead with Barrie's seeing-eye shot from the point that found its way through a maze of players and into the net.
Just 1:02 later, they made it a two-goal bulge when O'Reilly scored on the power play. With Kris Versteeg in the box for hooking, the Avs took all of 10 seconds to score when O'Reilly converted off a nifty passing sequence.
Not long after, Crawford stopped the bleeding with a strong save on a Marc-Andre Cliche rush that Patrick Sharp helped disrupt from behind.
Seconds after Varlamov flashed his glove to absolutely rob Patrick Kane on a one-timer from the right circle in the second period, the Hawks finally solved the Avs netminder.
Brandon Saad controlled the puck in the offensive zone, skated into the slot and ripped a wrist shot that deflected off Oduya and bounded past Varlamov.
In the third, the Hawks evened the score when Shaw corralled a rebound in the slot, spun and fired just inside the left post.
The Hawks entered with a nine-point lead over the up-and-coming Avs in the Central Division.
"Every team should look at Chicago," Duchene said. "They take 60 minutes and they go for the win, they go for your throat and that's the way we want to play."
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