Posted March 13, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Columbus Blue Jackets
Although they're at nearly opposite ends of the Western Conference standings, the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets have had three competitive matchups this season.
The results, though, have continued to be one-sided.
The well-rested Blackhawks will try to avoid dropping a third straight game since their NHL-record start by extending their recent dominance over the Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Chicago hasn't played like the team that opened 21-0-3 in its last two games, giving up six goals each time in back-to-back defeats. The Blackhawks couldn't complete a rally from an early 4-0 deficit to Edmonton in a 6-5 defeat Sunday.
"Definitely disappointed with the way we began the game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I like the response, though, after that.''
That was the team's seventh contest in 11 days, and Chicago has since gotten a significant break before starting a four-game road trip.
"We've got to take advantage, take care of our bodies and get ready for Thursday,'' captain Jonathan Toews said.
Having won 10 straight in the series, a matchup with the Blue Jackets would seem ideal for the Blackhawks (21-2-3) to keep their skid brief. Their three meetings this season, however, have all been decided by one goal and Chicago needed overtime to earn its latest win over Columbus, 4-3 on March 1.
Since that defeat, the Blue Jackets (10-12-5) have extended their point streak to eight. They nearly recorded a sixth consecutive win for the first time in seven seasons Tuesday before falling 2-1 in a shootout to Vancouver.
"Anytime you can add a point, it's good," center Mark Letestu said. "Especially the way the schedule is, and with the teams so tight in the standings, it's a small victory to get the point."
Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 37 saves, has a 0.83 goals-against average in his team's last six games and might get his first start against Chicago this season. Bobrovsky has faced the Blackhawks once in his career, a 4-1 win for Philadelphia on Jan. 23, 2011, in which he made 30 saves.
Chicago might turn to Corey Crawford, who replaced Ray Emery in the first period Sunday. Crawford has posted a 1.61 GAA in his eight straight wins versus Columbus and recorded a shutout in the second of his two starts against them this season Feb. 24.
The Blackhawks' Viktor Stalberg has nine goals and three assists in his last nine matchups with the Blue Jackets, and his 11 career goals against them are by far his most against any team.
Dave Bolland and Bryan Bickell each have six-game point streaks versus Columbus, with Bickell scoring twice in this season's series. Patrick Kane, who has three assists in the three games, is one shy of his 400th career point.
The Blue Jackets' Artem Anisimov has scored a goal in each of his last three against Chicago.
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I’m pretty sure the shootout was created specifically for guys like Patrick Kane and Pavel Datsyuk. There’s not a whole lot a goalie can do on this, even though Kane lost control of the puck, he still dangled Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky has been playing really well for the past month, but he didn’t have a chance to stop Kane. The goal gave the Blackhawks another win in a shootout...
Is it really learning how to win? Is that whats behind this young Columbus Blue Jackets evolution into a competitive force in the NHLs Western Conference? Is it simply that the team is starting to know what it takes to win and has begun applying the knowledge? Not according to Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson, at least not exactly.
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The Illinois Lottery is currently running the slogan "Anything's Possible." To put this slogan to work, they sent Patrick Kane to work in the Blackhawks Store, surprising customers that had no intention of meeting one of the stars of the Chicago Blackhawks.
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The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired forward Matthew Ford from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for future considerations.
Ford will report to the Blue Jackets' American Hockey League in Springfield, Mass.
Originally selected by Chicago in the eighth round, 256th overall, of the 2004 NHL draft, Ford has 72 goals and 69 assists in 256 career AHL games with Hartford, Lake...
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Chicago Blackhawks @ Columbus Blue Jackets
7:00PM Eastern/6:00 Central
Nationwide Arena, Columbus OH
CSN-Chicago, FS-Ohio/WGN Radio
The other night on CSN, analyst Denis Savard called tonight's game in Columbus an almost sure victory for the Hawks. I'm not going there. The Blue Jackets have played the Hawks tough this year, and...
Sergei Bobrovsky with an incredible save on Dave Bolland in OT tonight.
Blackhawks did win in the SO 2-1 but 'Bob' remained hot, stopping 39 shots.