A sign above one of the doors that opponents use to enter the Pepsi Center reminds them the altitude in the Mile High City is 5,280 feet.
The Blackhawks left Denver flying high of their own accord after they defeated the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 Friday night in a shootout before a crowd of 18,007. It was their third straight victory after enduring an eight-game losing skid.
Patrick Kane scored the Hawks' goal in regulation and led off the shootout with an electrifying goal to help the Hawks improve to 22-21-4.
Goaltender Patrick Lalime made three stops in the shootout, allowing only Milan Hejduk's goal, before center Robert Lang gave the Hawks the victory on the fourth shootout attempt with a wrist shot past Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore.
"Especially after that losing streak we went through, it's great to get a win," Kane said.
"Either way — shootout, overtime, whatever — it's a win. It's two points for us, and we have to be happy with it."
The Hawks got off to a fast start as Kane gave them a 1-0 lead just 2 minutes 31 seconds into the first period. Kane took a long pass from Martin Havlat, broke in on Theodore and beat him for his 12th goal of the season and third in two games.
Colorado tied it 1-1 on Andrew Brunette's goal at 8:03. The Avalanche forward knocked a rebound of his own shot past Lalime.
The Avalanche came into the game short-handed. Top forwards Joe Sakic (hernia), Ryan Smith (ankle) and Paul Stastny (appendix) were out with injuries.
"They're in a similar situation to us," Lang said. "They have a lot of guys out of the lineup, and they played basically a tight, structurally sound game. It's just nice to put a little streak together and get the good feeling and mood in the locker room."
Lalime recorded his third straight victory and earned another start Saturday night when the Hawks take on the Coyotes in Phoenix.
"It was a nice road game for us," Lalime said. "We stuck to the system and waited for chances. If we had to win in a shootout, that's what we did."
Lalime made 22 saves to improve to 7-5-1 on the season.
"He has played great," defenseman Duncan Keith said. "He's made some big saves. He made a couple of big saves in the first period. That's huge for our team right now."
One-timersVeteran winger Jason Williams had surgery Friday in Philadelphia to repair a sports hernia. Williams, who has missed the last 23 games with the hernia and a groin injury, could return in about a month. … General manager Dale Tallon said center Kevyn Adams' rehab from a knee injury was going as scheduled and the veteran could return in a month. ... Martin Lapointe missed his second straight game with the flu, but the veteran said he was feeling better. … The Hawks extended the contract of assistant coach Mark Hardy through the 2008-09 season. … Andrei Zyuzin and David Koci were healthy scratches.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun