Blackhawks lose to CBJ in SO; face Leafs on Sunday at home

The Blackhawks kicked off the weekend with an away game at Columbus, which they lost 3-2 after a nine-round shootout. It was Corey Crawford's first start after missing a couple weeks with a sprained ankle.

Jack Skille opened the evening's scoring with an even-handed goal late in the first to give CBJ the 1-0 lead. Ten minutes of play later, Patrick Sharp would tie things up for Chicago 1-1.

Kevin Connauton would give the Blue Jackets the lead once more 1:55 into the third, and then Ben Smith tied it 2-2 after a goal that had to go to Toronto review. Marcus Kruger had slid into Sergei Bobrovsky in the goal, but Ben Smith was able to stretch and tap the loose puck in to score.

Jack Johnson was the game winner for Columbus with a goal in the 9th round of the shootout.

Jonathan Toews had a rare fight when he briefly scrapped with Brandon Dubinsky. The Blackhawks outperformed the Blue Jackets statistically across the board, but Columbus' physical style clearly irked Chicago.

It was also the 9th time that the Blackhawks logged more than 40 SOG in a game this season.

THREE STARS:
1. Sergei Bobrovsky - CBJ
2. Jack Johnson - CBJ
3. Jack Skille - CBJ

It's back to Chicago for the Blackhawks, who will welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs (19-11-3) to town on Sunday night.

While the Leafs have been on a bit of a tear lately (7-3-0 last 10), they're coming into the Windy City on a two-game losing streak. After losing to the Flyers 7-4 at home on Saturday, they'll hope to repeat their success against the Blackhawks from earlier in the season, when they won 3-2 in regulation on home ice.

Remarkably, the Leafs have been worst against teams that are below .500, going 5-8-1 in those games. In spite of that, the Leafs are 7th overall in the East, holding on to the top wild card slot with five points over the Rangers, who have three games in hand.

The Blackhawks are first in the Central and lead the lead with a +35 goal differential.

WHERE TO WATCH: Chicago: WGN; NHLN-US; Toronto: TVA, CITY; Radio: WGN 720 Chicago

TIME: 6pm CST / 7pm EST