For the second time in three nights, the Colorado Avalanche powered past the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. And once again, it was newly acquired winger Tomas Fleischmann who led Colorado to a late victory with his first National Hockey League hat trick. After Fleischmann provided a late goal and two assists to help the Avs best Chicago at home on Monday, he put in three goals for Colorado in the final period last night to lead the team to its fourth straight win, 4-3, reports ESPN. It was the first time an Avs player scored a hat trick in one period since Joe Sakic accomplished the feat in 2003, according to The Denver Post.
The winning streak has brought Colorado to a first-place tie in the Northwest Division and knotted the team with a handful of others for the second most points in the Western Conference (via NHL.com). Bleacher Report breaks down Fleischmann’s contributions since coming to Colorado from the Washington Capitals in late November. But last night’s win may have come at a cost, after center Paul Stastny took a hard check into the boards and suffered a stiff back from the hit. At least Stastny and his other ailing teammates, including Milan Hejduk and Chris Stewart, will be able to recuperate on home ice: The Avs kick off a five-game homestand Friday night against the Ottawa Senators.