The Colorado Avalanche coupled a great start out of the gate with a legendary game by Semyon Varlamov to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 in the United Center on Tuesday night.

Nathan MacKinnon and Maxime Talbot scored 24 seconds apart to give the Avalanche (16-16-8) a 2-0 nothing lead 1:17 into the game. It was the fastest back-to-back pair of goals by the Avalanche in almost 20 years.

The shutout was the third of the season for Varlamov – who set a career-high, Avalanche regular-season record, and NHL road record with 54 saves in a shutout.

“It was fun. I am so exhausted right now.” Varlamov said after the dominant effort. “It’s a big game for us for sure. It’s tough to play against Chicago, especially in this building, They have one of the best crowds here.”

Coming into the game, the Blackhawks (26-12-2) had won 10 of their last 11 games at the United Center. The 54 shots were a season-high for the Blackhawks – who are the only team in the NHL to break 50 shots multiple times this season.

Varlamov looked unbeatable all night – stymieing the Hawks’ potent offense and putting together one of the greatest goaltending performance in the history of the Avalanche franchise. The Russian netminder put in two nights worth of work and led his team to victory on a night where they were their opponent put a whopping 30 shots on a goal (54-24).

“Today we did a great job of boxing out their players,” said Varlamov. “I saw most of the shots, which is really important for me to see the shots from the blue line.”

The Avalanche went 0-for-2 against the Blackhawks top ranked penalty kill, but they did manage to go 2-for-2 on the penalty kill thanks to nine shorthanded saves by their goalie.

John Mitchell made smart hockey plays and had key assists on both of the Avs’ goals.

On the first goal, he gained control of the puck in the offensive zone and patiently waited for a shooting lane to open to put the puck low, hard and on net. Corey Crawford’s rebound went straight to Nathan MacKinnon, who fired top-shelf from a bad angle at just 53 seconds of the opening period.

Moments later, Mitchell made a perfect chip up the boards to send MacKinnon flying behind the Hawks’ defense for the second goal. The 19-year-old bodied the defense off the puck and slid a pass across the front of the crease to Talbot for a tap-in that found its way through Corey Crawford. It was MacKinnon’s first multiple point performance in the last 19 games.

“It was a good start for us.” Coach Patrick Roy said. “We put pucks on net and picked up the rebound on the first one. We drove the net and then it was a great play by Nate on the tap-in.”

The Hawks got a puck past Varlamov with 2:37 left in the game, but the referee had lost sight of the puck underneath Varlamov and blown his whistle before the puck was poked through Varly’s legs.

It was a huge win for the Avalanche against one of the top teams in the division and the NHL.

“Tonight was a solid performance by [Varlamov] and a good start by us,” coach Roy said. “They had to chase us. When you play catch-up hockey you throw everything at the net, you play with urgency and that’s what they did. But we just found a way to win this game.”

The Avalanche return to the Pepsi Center to host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

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