By Pat Graham, AP Sports Writer
DENVER (AP) — Erik Johnson went coast-to-coast to score at 1:57 of overtime, and the Colorado Avalanche rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Tuesday night.
Johnson grabbed the puck near his goal, took advantage of a line change by the Blackhawks to cruise up the ice and beat goaltender Scott Darling with a nifty shot. It was Johnson’s second goal of the season.
Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog had short-handed goals for the last-place Avalanche, who won for just the second time in 10 games. Mikhail Grigorenko tied it up early in the third period off a pass from Duchene.
Artemi Panarin, Marcus Kruger and Ryan Hartman scored in the second period for the Blackhawks to stake them to a 3-0 lead. They remain stuck on a franchise record-tying 24 road wins.
Darling was at his best with his team a man down late in the third, stopping one point-blank shot after another. He couldn’t come up with the save on the shot by Johnson, who was sidelined a chunk of the season with a broken leg.
The Blackhawks are tuning up for the postseason with nothing left to play for in the regular season.
They’ve already captured the Central Division and locked up the top seed in the West. The real goal is to get some key players rest. Defenseman Duncan Keith got the night off Tuesday.
Grigorenko tied the game at 3 on a tip-in shot that went over Darling’s left shoulder.
Patrick Kane had an assist for his 88th point of the season as he tries to keep pace with Connor McDavid of Edmonton in the scoring race. Kane was playing with a fat lip that required three stitches inside his mouth and seven on the outside, courtesy of being hit by an errant puck during pregame in their previous matchup.
The Avalanche finished with a season-high 51 shots but couldn’t seem to get anything past Darling — except when the Blackhawks were on the power play.
Duchene scored off a pass from Matt Nieto for a short-handed goal. Landeskog followed 4:15 later with another. They entered the game with three short-handed goals all season and none at home.
Colorado recently called up center Rocco Grimaldi and defenseman Duncan Siemens from San Antonio of the American Hockey League. Siemens was the 11th overall pick in 2011 and played in his second career game — both against the Blackhawks. He also saw action in the season finale on April 11, 2015.