Blackhawks win over Blue Jackets in OT; streak extended to 21
It may not have been Chicago's prettiest effort, but they still came away with the win.
The Blue Jackets were resting and ready to face the Blackhawks on Friday night. Chicago came home on the flip side of a back-to-back, having gotten a win in St. Louis last night.
Columbus has its share of injuries - the most recent occuring just today during morning skate, when Chicago native John Moore suffered an upper body injury. Defenseman Dalton Prout was called up from CBJ's AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons at midday. His flight was delayed and landed at O'Hare at 6:40pm - less than an hour til puck drop. He made it to the United Center in time to get in the team box with about seven minutes left in the first period.
Despite the disparity in the standings, Chicago's previous two games against Columbus were 1-goal wins. Playing at Nationwide Arena in January, the Blackhawks took a 3-2 win; then just last Sunday, shut out CBJ 1-0 on Chicago ice.
Vinny Prospal opened the scoring for Columbus 31 seconds into the first.
The Blue Jackets were relentless on choking shooting opportunties for the Blackhawks early in the game; Chicago's first SOG was 4:25 into the first, they wouldn't register another until 16:08, though it wasn't for lack of trying. However, a rebound on that SOG resulted in Chicago's first goal, by Viktor Stalberg.
Columbus would take their second lead 12:42 into the second with a goal by Artem Anisimov.
Five minutes later, Chicago would tie the game again with a Patrick Sharp goal at 17:20. Bryan Bickell would put a blast past Steve Mason 59 seconds later to give the Blackhawks their first lead.
CBJ wasn't done yet. Ryan Johansen tied up the game with 7:37 remaining in the third, and the game would go to overtime -- pushing the Blackhawks point streak to 21 games.
Chicago piled a lot of pressure on the Blue Jackets in the third: they had 17 SOG in the third compared to 15 through the first two periods. Final SOG were 35 Chicago, 22 Columbus.
Brent Seabrook had the winning goal on an amazing no-look pass from Jonathan Toews. Is Toews so good that he saw that Seabrook was crashing the net by looking at the reflections in the glass?
After the game, Seabrook told reporters he wasn't expecting the pass and that Toews didn't indicate he was going to pass, either.
But Seabrook was in the right place doing the right thing: crashing the net and looking for opportunities. Toews' pass landed perfectly on his stick and it was an easy tap into the wide-open Columbus net.
- Ray Emery definitely wasn't his sharpest tonight, but thanks to a lot of defensive dedication throughout the lineup and a few fortunate goalposts, he still came away with the win. The Blue Jackets had some very good looks at the Blackhawks net and just couldn't make goals out of the opportunities. Tonight's game made up for the game in Calgary where Emery bailed everybody else out on the team.
- Stalberg added yet another point to his career stockpile against the Blue Jackets. He might have made it two on a wildly scrambling play in front of a pretty open Columbus net, but CBJ managed to keep the puck out. Still trying to figure out how that one didn't go in.
- For some reason, Coach Quenneville has been swapping Brandon Saad and Daniel Carcillo back and forth between the first and fourth lines. Saad continues to give his all, every shift, every night; not really sure why he's being swapped in and out of the Toews/Hossa line unless it's a move to keep the opposition guessing. Saad shows remarkable hockey sense for a rookie and has been fantastic on the first line; it's a shame that he isn't getting rewarded more frequently (via goals) for his efforts.
- Patrick Kane was all over, in a good way. He's always been good, but he continues to play to a whole new level this year. It'd be interesting to see what the second line would look like if Patrick Sharp took center while waiting for Dave Bolland to return from his injury.
- The whole team isn't exactly taking the night off against teams like the Blue Jackets and the Wild, but one would have to think what these games would look like if the Blackhawks played against these teams the same way the way they play against teams like the Kings and Sharks.
Final score: Blackhawks 4, Blue Jackets 3 (OT)
CHI goals: Stalberg, Sharp, Bickell, Seabrook (GWG)
CBJ goals: Prospal, Anisimov, Johansen
1) Byran Bickell (CHI)
2) Vinny Prospal (CBJ)
3) Ray Emery (CHI)
Winning goalie: Ray Emery - .864 sv% / 3 GA
Losing goalie: Steven Mason - .886 sv% / 4 GA
Next games: Sunday 3/3 at 11:30am CST at Detroit on NBC & NHLN-CA; Tuesday 3/5 at 7:30pm CST vs Minnesota on CSN-CH