BLUE JACKETS 3 | BLACKHAWKS 2
Jack Skille Post Game
Jack Johnson Post Game
Sergei Bobrovsky Post Game
Todd Richards Post Game
Kevin Connauton Goal
Jack Johnson Shoot-Out Winner
ANALYSIS: Well, that was another period kind of like the first, except the Blackhawks broke through on the scoreboard tie the game in the middle frame. After a ridiculous toe stop by Bobrovsky denied an earlier bid, Patrick Sharp glided down left wing on a 2-on-1 and snapped his fifth goal of the season over the glove hand at 7:27. At times, it was a Chicago barrage but the Blue Jackets got their game going in the second and applied some pressure in the Blackhawks' zone, with a couple of close calls at the end of the period around goaltender Corey Crawford. The Jackets have a big chance early in the third on the power play to break the tie and get the final stanza off on a good note. Shots are 29-12 Chicago.
Second Period Highlights
ANALYSIS: Aside from the shot count, which is 15-3 favoring Chicago, the Blue Jackets managed to make the most of their limited chances and come out on the positive side of the first period. A great play all around by Jack Skille late in the period allowed the Blue Jackets to get out of danger, and a hard rim around the boards in the Chicago zone found Fedor Tyutin's stick at the left point. Tyutin's shot got through and on to Skille's waiting stick, and it was an easy tip-in for his fifth goal of the season and the opening tally of this game. The Blue Jackets are obviously in the market to spend more time in the offensive zone, of which they didn't have much in the first 20. A cleaner game through the neutral zone is the first step, as they had a lot of entries and lead passes disrupted by the Blackhawks.
Jack Skille Goal
First Period Highlights
Adam Cracknell Pregame
Jeremy Morin Pregame
Todd Richards Pregame
UPDATE (11:15 AM): - Todd Richards said that Boone Jenner had been playing with back soreness for a while now, and that the team decided to have him looked at after he still felt discomfort after Saturday's game. Richards said that players play with back soreness all the time and that the team thought nothing of it. They were "shocked and disappointed" to learn it was a stress fracture.
- WIth Jenner out of the lineup, Richards says there are opportunities for other players. That includes Jeremy Morin, who will play on the wing with the re-united Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno and may see some power play time as well. It's Morin's first game against his former team.
"It’s a different feeling to play against your old team. I’ve never done it before.," said Morin after the morning skate. "But it’s just another game and we need a win here after a tough loss last game. I’m excited but at the same time it’s just another game.”
- Alexander Wennberg makes returns to the Blue Jackets lineup for the first time since November 28th. Richards said that Wennberg has been playing well in Springfield, and that Wennberg's first go-around with the team was a difficult circumstance, with rookie learning combined with the team not winning.
"He went down, he played well, and hopefully he's got some confidence back and he can come back here now and feel better about it," said Richards. "Maybe it's knowing what to expect now, too, in the NHL."
- Scott Hartnell did not take part in the morning skate, but he did skate this morning on his own.
UPDATE (10:05 AM): Here are the lines and pairings from this morning's skate...
- Head coach Todd Richards does some line shuffling with both Brian Gibbons and Boone Jenner placed on injured reserve. Alexander Wennberg goes right into the lineup after his recall from AHL Springfield yesterday, and Nick Foligno moves back to the wing alongside Ryan Johansen. Adam Cracknell appears to be in the lineup for the first time since Dec. 4 against the Panthers.
- Jordan Leopold took turns during line rushes with Cody Goloubef, recalled from Springfield yesterday as well. Both appear to be out of the lineup tonight.
Back to the drawing board, friends!
The Blue Jackets may have seen their seven-game winning streak come to an end with an overtime loss to the Washington Capitals, but they still have points in eight consecutive games and will look to kick off a new winning streak against an old Western Conference foe. The Chicago Blackhawks visit Nationwide Arena tonight!
The Blue Jackets have played a much tighter defensive game during their streak, but last night the Capitals found some cracks. The Jackets came out with a sluggish first period and trailed 2-0 after the first 20 minutes of play. But as they have done for the last two weeks, the Jackets pushed back with two power play goals in the second period from Jack Johnson and Nick Foligno to get back in the game. They’ll need much sounder defense and the same offensive fire power to slow down the red-hot Blackhawks. Chicago has won 13 of its last 15 games heading into tonight’s contest.
Here are some notes to get your game day started:
-The Blue Jackets haven’t beaten the Blackhawks in the last 13 meetings between the teams (0-10-3). At that point, the Jackets were still in the Western Conference, Scott Arniel was head coach, and Antoine Vermette and Anton Stralman were on the team.
-The Blue Jackets penalty kill was a perfect 3-for-3 against the Capitals on Thursday night, pushing them to 85.7 percent for the month of November. The Blackhawks power play is 19th coming into the game.
-Nick Foligno continues to be red-hot, with five goals and seven points in his last five games. His two goals against Washington on Thursday were the 100th and 101st of his NHL career.
-The Blackhawks have been rolling in the West even without their No. 1 goaltender. Corey Crawford has been out of the lineup since Nov. 29 with a foot injury, but he will make his return tonight against the Blue Jackets.
-Michael Chaput and Jeremy Morin both recorded firsts for the Blue Jackets on Thursday. For Morin it was his first point with Columbus, an assist on Foligno’s second goal. For Chaput it was the first goal of his NHL career.
-Speaking of Morin, it will be his first game against his new team after being traded to Columbus last Sunday. Former Jackets defenseman Tim Erixon finds himself back at Nationwide Arena in a Blackhawks sweater; he’s played two games for Chicago, earning a plus-1 rating and registering three shots on goal.