The Colorado Avalanche concluded their disappointing season in exciting fashion on Saturday night. Jarome Iginla scored twice on the power play – including the game-winner with just 33 seconds left in the game – to lead the Avs to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche (39-31-12) beat three consecutive playoff teams to wrap up their season despite coming up short of a playoff birth themselves.

“From the moment our captain made some comments in the paper about those three games and then we won the three of them, that certainly made me proud of them,” Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said in his post-game presser. “It showed that we have character and pride. Certainly as a coach, I’m very happy with those three games. No doubt about it.”

Avalanche defenseman Duncan Siemens played in his first career NHL game after being called up from the Lake Erie Monsters. The 2011 first round draft selection registered two hits in 14 minutes of work.

The Blackhawks (48-28-6), who were already locked into the third seed in the Central Division, elected to hold stars Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith out of the contest. Backup goaltender Scott Darling got the call between the pipes.

Avalanche enforcer Cody McLeod got things started with his seventh goal of the season. The fan favorite stationed himself at the top of the crease and tapped in a perfect set-up from Tyson Barrie.

Patrick Sharp tied the game midway through the second period. He took a drop pass from Bryan Bickell and fired a wrist shot high glove with Nate Guenin screening Varlamov.

Iginla released a bomb from the top of the circle on a one-timer for his first goal. Darling got a piece of the powerful clapper but couldn’t control the shot.

Chicago tied the game again with less than five minutes left in the third period. Marion Hossa drove the puck wide and fired a pass to Brandon Saad as he crashed the net. Siemens lost track of Saad, who was able to stuff the puck past Varlamov as all three players collided in the crease.

Iginla’s game winner came from the same location as his first goal. This time the 37-year-old stepped into a wrist shot that he put low blocker on Darling to ignite the Avalanche fans at Pepsi Center. Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger was in the penalty box for tripping Ryan O’Reilly. It was Iginla’s fourth multiple-goal game of the season. The future Hall of Famer led the Avalanche with 29 goals on the season.

“I would have loved to see him get the 30th, at the end, it was close,” Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said. “It was a great year for him.”

The Avalanche finish the season at the cellar of the Central Division after winning the highly competitive division last season. The Blackhawks will battle with the Nashville Predators in the first round of the NHL playoffs starting Wednesday.

Nathan is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached on Twitter at @TheRealNatron.

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