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Blue Jackets close out 2015-16 season at Nationwide Arena against Blackhawks

by Katie Foglia / Columbus Blue Jackets

Sitting third in the Central Division, the Chicago Blackhawks have accumulated 102 points on the season with one game to go. Both the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks will close out the 2015-16 season on Saturday night at Nationwide Arena.

The Blackhawks, current defending Stanley Cup champions, have clinched their spot in the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season. In their most recent match-up, the Blackhawks fell, 2-1, to the St. Louis Blues in overtime.

In that game, Jonathan Toews opened the scoring for the Blackhawks at 12:40 of the second period, but Vladimir Tarasenko leveled the score just in time, at 18:44 of the third period. And, at 3:37 into the overtime period, Tarasenko scored his second of the night to give St. Louis the extra point.

In the Blue Jackets' last road game of the 2015-16 season, they defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 and got goals from four different players (Matt Calvert, Nick Foligno, Dalton Prout and Brandon Saad) and points from 11.

Additionally, for the first time in franchise history, the Blue Jackets have two 30-goal scorers — Brandon Saad and Boone Jenner — in the same campaign.

Early into the 2015-16 season, on Oct. 17 to be exact, the Blue Jackets traveled to Chicago to play the Blackhawks at United Center.

After a scoreless first period, it appeared as though the Blue Jackets might be able to break through in the second, but Columbus was unable to beat Chicago’s Corey Crawford (expected to return from injury and start tonight at Nationwide Arena) in the first 40 minutes.

The Blackhawks took the game, 4-1, and snapped a two-game losing streak in the process. Despite Curtis McElhinney’s solid 29-save performance between the pipes, the Blackhawks scored two goals in the second and added on in the third, making it a 3-0 game.

Defenseman Jack Johnson scored the lone goal for the Blue Jackets at 16:21 of the third period.

The Blue Jackets are 30-38-10 in the all-time series against the Blackhawks, and 0-1-0 in 2015-16. Notable: Columbus swept the 2014-15 season series from Chicago.

With a whopping 103 points (44 goals and 59 assists), Patrick Kane not only leads the Blackhawks in points, but also the entire NHL.

The 2015-16 season marks the first time in Kane’s nine-year career that the forward has reached 100 points. That milestone number came on Apr. 3 when the Blackhawks defeated the Bruins, 6-4, and Kane scored three goals and added one assist in a four-point effort.

The only NHL player with more goals than Kane this season is Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who has scored 47 goals. The only player close to Kane on the NHL’s total scoring list is Jamie Benn of Dallas, who has tallied 88 points.

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