Fleury loses Blackhawks debut against Kuemper, Avalanche

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Marc-Andre Fleury lost his Chicago Blackhawks debut, 4-2 to the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena in Denver on Wednesday.

The reigning Vezina Trophy winner as the best goalie in the NHL, Fleury was traded to the Blackhawks by the Vegas Golden Knights on July 27. He allowed three goals in the first period and finished with 32 saves.

Darcy Kuemper, who was acquired by the Avalanche in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on July 28, made 32 saves in his Colorado debut. Gabriel Landeskog, Nazem Kadri and Bowen Byram each had a goal and an assist.

Dominik Kubalik and Connor Murphy scored for Chicago.

It was the season opener for each team.

The Avalanche played without Nathan MacKinnon after the center tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Jack Johnson gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead when he skated in alone after taking a pass from J.T. Compher along the boards and put a backhand past Fleury at 4:26.

Landeskog made it 2-0 at 5:48 after Erik Johnson‘s shot from the blue line deflected off Landeskog, who was in front of the net.

Byram extended the Avalanche lead to 3-0 at 9:34. Landeskog took the puck in the defensive zone, skated it out and passed to Byram, who scored from the left face-off circle.

Kubalik scored a power-play goal for the Blackhawks at 16:47 of the first to make it 3-1.

Nazem Kadri gave Colorado a 4-1 lead on a rebound at 16:12 of the second period.

Murphy scored at 15:31 of the third for the 4-2 final.

Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, who missed all of last season because of chronic immune response syndrome, had two shots on goal in 17:15 of ice time. 

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