8:35 P.M. -- SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: Andrew Shaw scored the game's only goal with 1:27 left in the second period, and that's where we stand after 40 minutes at the United Center. Shots on goal favor Chicago (21-20) but the Blue Jackets have had some chances of their own. Steve Mason has been the story of the game, already with three big-time stops on Marian Hossa and a handful of others as the Blackhawks swarmed on the power play. Shaw's goal, which was scored just after matching minors to Jared Boll and Michal Roszival expired, came with the Blue Jackets on a lengthy shift inside their own end. At even strength, the Blue Jackets have done exceptional work on the Blackhawks' top players and they haven't had much going off the rush. That will need to continue if the Blue Jackets are going to tie this thing up - and hopefully take the lead - in the third period.
7:40 P.M. -- FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: A solid road period for the Blue Jackets, who did some of their best work on the penalty kill. The Blackhawks' power play was 13th in the league coming into tonight's game, but the Blue Jackets kept them off the board (and for the most part, out of the offensive zone) on both opportunities. Shots on goal checked in at seven per team in the opening 20 minutes, and the Blue Jackets probably had two of the better scoring chances. The Brassard line was good in the first and created some offense off the rush, and the power play had a few looks as well. As this game goes on, you get the sense that special teams will become a factor because of how aggressive both teams like to play.
LET'S GET IT STARTED: Here we go! We're about set for puck drop between the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks from the United Center in Chicago.
Here's tonight's Blue Jackets lineup:
Umberger - Brassard - Atkinson
Calvert - Johansen - Foligno
Prospal - Drazenovic - Dorsett
Letestu - MacKenzie - Boll
Tyutin - Nikitin
Moore - Wisniewski
Erixon - Aucoin