The Columbus Blue Jackets finally earned a much-deserved point against the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago Friday night. The roles reversed in the second of back-to-back games for the Blackhawks, as the Blue Jackets zapped energy from the home crowd with a goal 31 seconds into the first period. From then on, the Blackhawks struggled to keep up with the well-rested determined Columbus team. After being out shot and out-played the first half of the period, Viktor Stalberg flexed his I-own-Columbus muscles and scored as a Blackhawks power play expired, evening the score.
Any energy and momentum gained at the end of the second period failed to carry over to the second, and the Blue Jackets scored off of a deflection making it 2-1. It’s dangerous to get too excited when you’re leading the Blackhawks, but who can blame them? Columbus carried their final lead of the game for about four minutes when Patrick Sharp started Chicago’s let’s-hit-the-net-not-the-glass streak with a bad angle shot that beat Steve Mason and tied the game 2-2. Less than a minute later, Brian Bickell snagged the puck and streaked into the offensive zone 2 on 1 and nailed a riveting wrist shot giving the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead for the first time in the game.
Columbus wouldn’t give up that easily, not when they were so close to finally beating their Central Division nemesis. With under 8 minutes left in the third period, the Blue Jackets tied it up to end the scoring in regulation and send the game to overtime.
After a flurry of chances at both ends, Jonathan Toews sensed late-man Brent Seabrook across the ice, and sent him a sweet dish that Seabs buried in an open net, extending the record season opening to 21 games and 18-0-3!
This marks the 8th consecutive win for the Blackhawks. Remember about this time last year when they lost 9 in a row? Winning is better.
Ray Emery played another solid game making a few big saves to earn his 8th win of the season.
Jonathan Toews spent some time in the locker room in the third period, but apparently it was just some sort of equipment malfunction. No need to panic.
The goal posts played well for both teams, too.
Next up, the Blackhawks travel across the lake to take on the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop is at 11:30AM Central Time.
What do you think about the Blue Jackets’ increasing pressure against the Blackhawks?