The Chicago Blackhawks hope to continue their recent success over the Columbus Blue Jackets as they try to remain in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Blackhawks look for a third consecutive road victory over the struggling Blue Jackets as the teams meet Wednesday night.
Chicago (36-32-8) rallied for a 4-3 overtime victory at home over St. Louis on Sunday to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Blackhawks, 3-1-1 since losing four in a row, are six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West with six games remaining.
On Sunday, James Wisniewski tied the game with 55 seconds left in regulation, then assisted on Patrick Kane's winner for the Blackhawks, who haven't been to the playoffs since 2002.
"They know what it takes to win, to battle," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "Whether we get there (the playoffs) or not, they'll prove a lot of people wrong."
|The Chicago Blackhawks are 3-1-1 since losing four in a row and are six points away from the final playoff spot in the West. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
Two of Chicago's six games will be against Columbus (33-32-11), which has lost three straight contests and is three points behind the Blackhawks.
Though the teams have each won three games in the season series, Chicago has dominated in the two most recent contests between the teams - both in Columbus - outscoring the Blue Jackets 13-5.
Kane, who also added an assist Sunday for Chicago, has two goals and an assist in the last two games versus the Blue Jackets. Kane has 47 assists, and his next one will give him the team's rookie single-season record.
Fellow rookie Dustin Byfuglien, who also had a goal Sunday, has three of his four goals against the Blue Jackets in the teams' last two meetings.
The Blackhawks have struck early of late against Columbus, scoring seven total goals in the first period of both games combined. Chicago jumped out to a 3-0 lead, then held off Columbus for a 6-3 win at Nationwide Arena on March 14 in the teams' most recent meeting.
Nikolai Khabibulin, who has posted a 1.29 goals-against average in winning two of his last three starts, made 24 saves in Chicago's 7-2 win at Columbus on Feb. 13 to improve to 1-2-0 versus the Blue Jackets in 2007-08.
Columbus lost 3-0 at Nashville on Tuesday, leaving the Blue Jackets on the verge of missing the playoffs for the seventh straight season since entering the NHL in 2000-01.
The Blue Jackets have been outscored 10-2 in their last three contests since scoring seven goals in two straight victories prior to their current losing skid.
"I'm looking forward to Chicago. I want to see how some of these guys play and respond," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said.
Rick Nash, who scored Columbus' most recent goal in a 4-1 loss to Detroit on Saturday, has 38 goals and is three away from matching his career high for a season set in 2003-04. He has four goals and three assists versus the Blackhawks in 2007-08.
The teams will conclude their season series Sunday in Chicago.