COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ The Chicago Blackhawks already had enough trouble on
the road. Handing the Columbus Blue Jackets 13 power plays certainly didn't
Rick Nash scored his NHL-leading 29th and 30th goals to help the Blue
Jackets to a 4-3 victory Saturday night that extended the Blackhawks' road
losing streak to a franchise-record 17 games.
``That was the difference in the hockey game, just how it was called,''
Chicago coach Brian Sutter said after the Blue Jackets tied a franchise record
with 13 power-play chances, scoring on two. ``Let's put it this way _ them
hauling us down and them calling penalties against us. It got to borderline
The Blackhawks, who routed the Blue Jackets 7-0 just 48 hours earlier, have
not won a road game since beating Nashville 2-1 on Nov. 7.
Sutter declined to comment and several players were spirited away before
they could be asked about the losing skid.
``We weren't really thinking about that,'' center Scott Nichol said. ``After
a 7-0 win, we were just thinking about getting the puck on goal.''
Selected this week to the Western Conference All-Star team, Nash is just
four goals off the team record of 34 set last season by Geoff Sanderson in 82
games. Nash's 30 have come in 49 games.
``I really never thought I'd be here,'' said Nash, the overall No. 1 pick in
the 2002 draft. ``I owe a lot to the team and to the power play. Almost half of
them are power-play goals. (David) Vyborny assisted on about 80 percent of
them, so I owe a lot to him.''
Fourteen of Nash's goals have come on the power play.
Manny Malhotra and Tyler Wright each added a goal and an assist as the Blue
Jackets remained unbeaten at home (3-0-1) under interim coach Gerard Gallant.
Steve Sullivan had two goals, including a short-handed score, and Tuomo
Ruutu scored on a power play for the Blackhawks. Sullivan also had an assist.
After Sullivan scored short-handed, Nash clogged the slot to tap in
Rostislav Klesla's wrist shot from the left circle.
The Blackhawks were whistled for two more penalties and weathered 1:23 of a
two-man disadvantage before Columbus scored on the second power-play chance
when Malhotra jammed in a rebound.
It was the eighth goal for Malhotra, a waiver-wire pickup from Dallas in
November, to tie his career high.
``I think my confidence right now is at an all-time high,'' Malhotra said.
Nash then notched his 30th when defensemen Nathan Dempsey and Burke Henry
both went for Columbus rookie Nikolai Zherdev behind the goal cage and he
slipped a centering pass to Nash, who was alone in the slot for an easy score.
``The first one was lucky, the second one I owe a lot to Veebs (Vyborny) and
Zherdev,'' Nash said. ``He made a nice play.''
After Wright tapped in a loose puck for his fourth early in the third
period, Ruutu followed Bryan Berard's one-timer with a rebound goal for his
Sullivan added his 10th in the final minute with Chicago's goalie off for an
``It shouldn't have been a contest, but we let them back in,'' said Gallant,
5-4-3 as a head coach. ``The guys were embarrassed the other night so they
wanted to come back and win.''