Fraser scores twices as Blackhawks beat Avs 5-2

DENVER (AP) — Colin Fraser scored twice, Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist and the Chicago Blackhawks moved closer to clinching the top seed in the Western Conference with a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.

Antti Niemi had 30 saves, Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg also scored and Tomas Kopecky had two assists for Chicago. The Blackhawks moved into a tie with San Jose for first in the Western Conference with 111 points and both teams have one game remaining.

Chicago can clinch the No. 1 seed with a win Sunday against Detroit or by tying the Sharks in points. Chicago holds the tiebreaker by having more wins than San Jose. The Sharks host Phoenix on Saturday.

If the Blackhawks hold on to the top seed, Friday's game was a preview of their first-round opponent. The Avalanche are locked into the eighth and final playoff spot, a big improvement from last year when they finished in the conference cellar.

Although Chicago won the season series 3-1, the four games between the teams have been close. The first three games went to a shootout, with Colorado winning one at home and the Blackhawks both games at the United Center.

Chicago made sure the final game didn't reach a shootout with an early flurry of goals. Fraser scored 6:20 into the game when he took a rebound off the back boards and beat Peter Budaj to make it 1-0.

Toews made it 2-0 4:35 later when he scored on the power play, his 25th goal of the season.

Sharp made it 3-0 with his 25th goal 7:21 into the second period before the Avalanche struck. Ryan O'Reilly was stopped on a point-blank shot on the power play before Ryan Stoa got Colorado on the scoreboard with his first NHL goal with 2:24 left in the second and the teams skating 4-on-4.

Darcy Tucker made it 3-2 with 7:11 left, but Fraser scored his sixth goal of the season and second of the game 38 seconds later to make it a two-goal game. Versteeg scored an empty-net goal with 1:21 left to seal the win.

Budaj had 32 saves for Colorado.

NOTES: Avalanche rookie Matt Duchene left the game in the first period with a torso injury and did not return. ... Avalanche C Peter Mueller is out indefinitely with a concussion suffered Sunday against San Jose. ... Chicago's 111 points are the most in franchise history.