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Byram gets first NHL goal, Avalanche beat Blackhawks 4-2

Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper stopped 32 shots in his Avalanche debut to earn the win.

DENVER — Bowen Byram scored his first NHL goal and added an assist to lead the short-handed Colorado Avalanche to a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night. 

Nazem Kadri and Gabriel Landeskog each had a goal and an assist for Colorado, which played without star center Nathan MacKinnon and head coach Jared Bednar. Both are in the COVID-19 protocol and away from the team. 

Assistant coaches Ray Bennett and Nolan Pratt led the team. 

Darcy Kuemper stopped 32 shots in his Avalanche debut and Jack Johnson added a goal. Kuemper, acquired from Arizona in the offseason, wasn’t tested early but made two big saves on Kirby Dach in the second period. 

Dach had a breakaway at 12:02, but Kuemper closed the pads on his shot. 

Minutes later, he had another wide-open chance from the left circle that Kuemper stopped.

>> Video above: Avalanche begin quest for third Stanley Cup in team history and first in more than 20 years

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