BLACKHAWKS 6 | BLUE JACKETS 1
Let's just go ahead and rip the bandage off: there wasn't a lot that went right for the Blue Jackets tonight.
They strung together a decent first period but went to the dressing room down 2-1, they yielded three goals in the second period that put the game away, and didn't have much left in the third period en route to a 6-1 loss to the Blackhawks at the United Center. It was a short night for Sergei Bobrovsky, who had no chance on the four goals scored against him, and Curtis McElhinney came in from the bullpen midway through the second period.
FINAL: CHI 6 | CBJ 1
From the start, this was obviously going to be a difficult game for Columbus.
The Blackhawks played with a strong element of gumption from the opening face-off, winning all the battles and making plays to extend a shift for generate another chance. The Blue Jackets spent a lot of time in their own end, retrieving pucks and trying to get out of danger but the Blackhawks kept the foot on the gas pedal.
Ryan Johansen's team-leading 25th goal of the season was the lone bright spot for the Jackets, and it was a goal that helped them settle down after a frantic start. He pounced on a turnover during a bad Chicago line change and broke in alone on Corey Crawford, beating him short side to make it a 1-1 game.
But after that, the Blackhawks had another response.
Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews scored twice - and a couple of them were gorgeous plays on delayed penalties - to extend the already-comfortable lead for the Blackhawks.
From here, the Blue Jackets are on to Nashville where they will face another old Central Division foe in the Predators on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.
Down just a goal entering the second period, the Blue Jackets weren't in a terrible spot...but the Blackhawks opened the floodgates early on and scored quickly to take the wind out of the visitors' sails.
1. ANDREW SHAW (CHI)
Shaw scored twice but could have had a couple more; he was all around the Jackets' net all night long.
2. JONATHAN TOEWS (CHI)
Two goals on the evening for the Chicago captain, who was argubaly one of the best players on the ice.
3. BRENT SEABROOK (CHI)
A pair of assists tonight for the Blackhawks' rugged blueliner.
AT NASHVILLE PREDATORS
SATURDAY, 8 P.M.