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GAME BLOG: Blue Jackets vs. Blackhawks

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

8:45 P.M. -- Frozen moments from the first two periods:

8:35 P.M. -- SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: The story of the second period (and hopefully not the hockey game) is going to be a disallowed power play goal by the Blue Jackets that would have tied this game at 2-2. Derick Brassard had rotated to the center point and let go a one-timer that was deflected by Nick Foligno and in behind Crawford....but referee Dan O'Rourke immediately waved it off for goaltender interference (incidental contact). Replays showed no contact made with Crawford, and the Nationwide Arena crowd vehemently disagreed with the call, but it stood nonetheless. Bryan Bickell tipped in a Niklas Hjalmarsson shot to put the Hawks in front, but Columbus had the better of the play in the period. There's a big third period on tap at Nationwide with the Blue Jackets trailing by a goal but with a ton of adrenaline going after the disallowed goal. The key is to channel it into positive energy and get back to the solid game they've played up to this point.

7:40 P.M. -- FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: It was a great start, a solid middle, and average end to the first period for the Blue Jackets, who were on their game in the opening 20 minutes. They lead 8-1 in shots on goal at the halfway mark of the period and got a goal from Mark Letestu thanks to some persistence around the Blackhawks' net. Derek Dorsett and Nick Foligno were doing the heavy lifting in the goal mouth, and the puck popped free to Letestu who chopped it over a sprawling Crawford. The Blackhawks buzzed a bit, but never got anything sustained...but as we've discussed, all they need is one small opening to take advantage. Adrian Aucoin made an ill-advised pinch in the neutral zone and Patrick Kane squeezed through the check, skating in for a clean look at Steve Mason. Mason made the initial stop, but Dave Bolland was there to deposit the rebound and tie the game. All in all, this was a much better start than the previous game and something to build off as this game moves forward.

5:20 P.M. -- DON'T MISS ... Assistant coach Dan Hinote and Bob McElligott break down tonight's game:

5:15 P.M. -- Derek Dorsett talks about tonight's game against Chicago:

5:10 P.M. -- Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert stops by to share his thoughts on tonight's game. Watch the full interview on Jackets TV:

4:50 P.M. -- Hear from the other side as Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville addresses the media after today's morning skate in Nationwide Arena:

4:45 P.M. -- Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards spoke to the media prior to tonight's game against the Blackhawks. You can watch his comments below, courtesy of Jackets TV:

11:30 A.M. -- We're here to get you caught up on all of today's coverage so far...

Game Day Preview: Chicago
Checking an important factor for Columbus
Blue Jackets depth chart

11:15 A.M. -- Some slight modifications to the Blue Jackets lineup tonight: Mark Letestu slides to left wing on the fourth line, and Derek MacKenzie draws in. Colton Gillies will be a healthy scratch after we initially thought he would check in on the fourth line this evening. Gillies remains the lone Blue Jackets forward to see game action this season.

As we mentioend earlier, Cam Atkinson is not expected to play tonight as he's still nursing a lower body injury that kept him out of Thursday's game in Denver.

A revamped look at the CBJ lines:

Foligno - Anisimov - Umberger
Brassard - Dubinsky - Dorsett
Calvert - Johansen - Prospal
Letestu - MacKenzie - Boll

Tyutin - Nikitin
Johnson - Wisniewski
Moore - Aucoin


10:15 A.M. -- Through the CBJ lens at today's morning skate...

10:10 A.M. --
All other players are present and accounted for at the morning skate. Looks like Steve Mason will get the nod in goal for Columbus.

10:05 A.M. -- New line combinations at today's skate, so let's check 'em out:

Foligno - Anisimov - Umberger
Calvert - Johansen - Prospal
Brassard - Dubinsky - Dorsett
Gillies - Letestu - Boll

Tyutin - Nikitin
Johnson- Wisniewski
Moore - Aucoin


10:00 A.M. -- The Blue Jackets morning skate is under way at Nationwide Arena. No sign of Cam Atkinson, so you'd have to think his status for tonight is doubtful at best.

9:30 A.M. -- Good morning and happy game day! We're back at Nationwide Arena, where the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks will do battle tonight in what should be an entertaining Central Division showdown.

The Blackhawks are coming off a come-from-behind overtime win against the Dallas Stars earlier in the week, and as of today, they hold a perfect 4-0-0 record and sit atop the division and the conference. Patrick Kane is on a tear to start the season, and most of the points are coming from setting up Marian Hossa's goals.

Kane has put up seven points in the first four games and Hossa has five goals, including the overtime winner in Dallas (off a gorgeous behind-the-back pass from Kane). Those two are really in-sync right now, and it's a challenge for any team to contain them.

Let's kick the morning off by reliving (via highlights) both teams' most recent outing:

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