CHICAGO (AP) -- It took the Columbus Blue Jackets nearly half the season to
win their first road game.
Manny Malhotra and Rick Nash scored 1:26 apart early in the third period
Friday night, sending the Blue Jackets to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago
Columbus improved to 1-11-1-2 away from home and won in Chicago for the
first time in eight games since entering the NHL in 2000-01.
"It was huge," Nash said. "After going all that time, it's a huge weight
off the back. We've just got to keep doing more of it.
"We've talked about it before every single road game. And to actually do it
and not have you guys come ask us why we're not doing it is kind of
David Vyborny scored twice for the Blue Jackets, who ended a six-game losing
skid and nine-game winless streak. His second goal was into an empty net with
Nash's 22nd goal moved him one ahead of Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk for the
"I just thought we played it 60 minutes really solid," Blue Jackets coach
and general manager Doug McLean said. "The second goal was a huge one, the
third goal was big. They're all big when we're having trouble scoring like we
have, but we played really sound tonight."
Columbus entered having scored just five goals in its previous four games.
It was only the second time in the last 11 games the Blue Jackets scored as
many as three goals.
Scott Nichol scored for the struggling Blackhawks, who have won just two of
their last 22 games (2-13-4-3).
"The first couple of shifts (of the third period) we overhandled the
puck," Chicago coach Brian Sutter said. "We gave up the puck about five
times. No matter who you play, it's going to kill you."
Columbus goalie Fred Brathwaite stopped 30 shots. Chicago's Michael Leighton
Nichol opened the scoring with 6:27 left in the first period when he slid in
a loose rebound of Mark Bell's shot.
Vyborny tied it at 8:23 of the second. He circled off the right wing boards,
skated unchecked across the slot and lifted a backhander over Leighton's glove.
Malhotra fired in a loose rebound from 15 feet at 2:26 of the third to give
Columbus a 2-1 lead. Leighton stopped Derrick Walser's first shot, but Walser
slipped the rebound across the crease to Malhotra, who was wide open.
Nash pounced on a rebound at the edge of the crease 1:26 later to give the
Blue Jackets a 3-1 advantage.