Mar 9, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
The Colorado Avalanche entered Friday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks as one of the bottom dwellers in the NHL’s Western Conference.
They skated off the ice that same night as the only team needing just 60 minutes to beat the Blackhawks so far this season.
In fact, the Avalanche rolled to a convincing 6-2 victory over Chicago, which went 24 straight games without a regulation loss to start the 2013 campaign.
The Avalanche, with the win, moved two points ahead of the last-place Columbus Blue Jackets and a point ahead of the 14th-place Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference standings.
The Avalanche host the San Jose Sharks Sunday.
“It’s a great confidence booster,” Avalanche center Matt Duchene told NHL.com.
“It shows that we can play with anybody in this League. It’s one of the best teams in the whole National Hockey League. What a special run they had. It was pretty cool to end it, that’s for sure. It’s pretty special.”
The Avalanche fell earlier in the week to Chicago, losing 3-2 on Wednesday, extending the Blackhawks’ historical streak.
The Avalanche held a one-goal lead heading into the third period of that game, but gave up two goals – a Jonathan Toews short-handed marker and then from Dan Carcillo with 50 seconds remaining in regulation – in the third period, resulting in the loss.
That seemed to be forgotten about when the final buzzer sounded Friday.
“We want to use this is a springboard now,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog told The Denver Post.
“We know at the level we can play at now, but we have to keep doing it and not get all happy over just one win. We need to win every game right now.”
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