With a capacity crowd welcoming them home to Nationwide Arena for the start of their 10th season, the Jackets turned the cheers to boos during a 5-2 victory by the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.
Patrick Sharp broke open a one-goal game with two second-period goals, Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky each added a goal and an assist and Viktor Stalberg also had a goal. Marty Turco, who wasn't sharp in his first two games as a Hawk, made 30 saves.
It was the Jackets' first game back in North America after splitting a pair with San Jose in Stockholm last weekend as part of the Compuware NHL Premiere series -- and needless to say, it wasn't the kind of performance they had in mind.
"Give Chicago credit, they jumped on top of every mistake we made," Jackets coach Scott Arniel said.
After Hossa and Stahlberg gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead after one period, R.J. Umberger's shorthanded goal 11 seconds into the second period got Columbus within 2-1. But Sharp scored a shorthanded goal at 9:46 and got his second of the night 2:02 later to made it 4-1.
"We weren't sharp. We didn't execute and we were not sharp at all," Umberger said. "You can say it was because we had so many days off, but bottom line, you have to go out there and do our job. The home opener especially you have to make it count."
After Kopecky made it 5-1 with a goal 15 seconds into the third period, the full house booed the Jackets in the third period when they failed to get off a shot on a power play.
Kristian Huselius added a late goal in Arniel's Columbus debut.
"That was a big, fat egg we laid," Arniel said. "Systemwise, we were loose. All the games we've played, exhibitions with all the kids we've had in there, that's the loosest we've been since we've been trying to get things going here. Everything we tried to do backfired on us. All 20 players had a tough night."
Sharp had nine shots on goal through two periods and finished with 13 shots, easily surpassing his career high of 10.
"He had one of those nights," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
The capacity crowd roared on every hit and shot over the first nine minutes, but the Blackhawks quieted them with a quick offensive burst.
Stalberg opened the scoring at 9:37 when he took a pass from Jack Skille, split two defenders as he skated through the neutral zone and flicked a shot that glanced off Steve Mason's upper right arm and into the net. Just 63 seconds later, Jassen Cullimore's shot from the right boards deflected off Kopecky, who was standing in the crease in front of Mason. The puck kicked out near the right hash marks, where Hossa grabbed it and beat Mason inside the far post.
"It was nice. We had some production tonight," said Quenneville, whose team was coming off a 3-2 home loss to Nashville on Wednesday. "There are still some areas that we can improve in, but it was a good road win for us. It was good to bounce back after a real tough loss."
After Umberger backhander past Turco got the Jackets back into the game, Sharp made it 3-1 after Columbus' Antoine Vermette gave up the puck with an unforced mistake in the offensive zone. Sharp swooped in on a 2-on-1 at the other end and beat Mason from near the left faceoff dot.
Sharp made it 4-1 when he jammed in the rebound of Troy Brouwer's bad-angled shot after Mason made a pad save.
"They took it to us," Columbus captain Rick Nash said. "It was an eye-opener for us, for sure."
Material from team media was used in this report
|Viktor Stalberg (1) ASST: Jack Skille (1), Nick Boynton (2)|
1 - 0 CHI
|Marian Hossa (4) ASST: Tomas Kopecky (5), Jassen Cullimore (1)|
2 - 0 CHI
|SHG - R.J. Umberger (2) ASST: Derek Dorsett (1)|
2 - 1 CHI
|SHG - Patrick Sharp (2) ASST: Jake Dowell (1)|
3 - 1 CHI
|Patrick Sharp (3) ASST: Troy Brouwer (3), Bryan Bickell (2)|
4 - 1 CHI
|Tomas Kopecky (1) ASST: Marian Hossa (4)|
5 - 1 CHI
|Kristian Huselius (3) ASST: R.J. Umberger (1), Rostislav Klesla (1)|
5 - 2 CHI
|Fedor Tyutin Hooking against Jack Skille|
|Kris Russell Slashing against Dave Bolland|
|Tomas Kopecky Closing hand on puck|
|Jack Skille Slashing against Jan Hejda|
|Troy Brouwer Tripping against Kris Russell|
|Tomas Kopecky Tripping against Derek MacKenzie|