The Chicago Blackhawks were every bit the part of a frustrated hockey club this afternoon at Nationwide Arena.
Just two days after ending a nine-game losing streak and beating the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, the Blackhawks said they wanted to start a new streak on the side of the ledger. After the Blue Jackets took an early 1-0 lead, the Blackhawks answered with six unanswered tallies and never looked back. Chicago’s second consecutive victory was a 6-1 final in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,633.
Former Blue Jackets defenseman Sami Lepisto committed an egregious turnover to Derick Brassard early in the first period leading to the first goal of the game. Brassard picked off the breakout pass and had a clear lane to the net, and his slap shot beat Corey Crawford clean for a 1-0 lead at 5:13. The Blue Jackets had several quality chances after the opening goal, but Jonathan Toews tied the game off the rush at 12:27.
Viktor Stalberg continued his torrid scoring pace vs. Columbus this season at 16:48, capitalizing on a turnover behind the net and giving the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead. Patrick Sharp made it a 3-1 lead at 13:39 of the middle stanza, burying a pass across the slot from Patrick Kane.
Less than two minutes later, Kane made a cross-over move through the slot and scored his 13th goal of the season for a 4-1 Chicago lead. At that point, Blue Jackets interim head coach Todd Richards made the decision to insert Allen York in relief of Steve Mason.
Marcus Kruger and Lepisto scored goals 49 seconds apart early in the third period to increase the Blackhawks lead to 6-1.
The Blue Jackets were by no means out of this game when it was 2-1 in the latter stages of the second period, and their shifts preceding the turning point nearly helped them tie the game. Moments after missing the net on a slap shot, Kane collected the puck on the half-wall and fed Sharp for the 3-1 goal that took the wind out of Columbus’ sails.
Brassard scored his first goal in five games with his 10th of the season in the first period today. He had last scored Feb. 3 at Anaheim. He has points in five of the last eight games, while collecting 6-7-13 the last 19 games and 8-10-18 the last 26 games after being held to 2-3-5 the first 24 games of the season. He has notched 5-8-13 in 20 career games against Chicago.
Fedor Tyutin played his 300th game with the Blue Jackets today. He was acquired along with D Christian Backman from the NY Rangers in exchange for Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche on July 2, 2008. In 300 games with Columbus, he has 26-91-117 compared to 15-52-67 in 251 games with the Rangers.
The Blue Jackets scored the first goal of the game for the 25th time this season. The club is now 11-10-4 in those games, while going 8-17-4 when trailing after the first period and 2-23-1 when trailing after two periods. Columbus is now 28-32-8 all-time against Chicago, including a 15-14-5 mark at Nationwide Arena.
vs. New York Rangers
Madison Square Garden | New York, NY
Sunday, 8 p.m.
TV: FOX Sports Ohio (HD)
Radio: 97.1 The Fan & BlueJackets.com