The Columbus Blue Jackets' hold on second place in the Metropolitan Division loosened with a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Friday.
The Blue Jackets (49-20-8) are one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who defeated the New York Rangers 4-3 in a shootout. The Blue Jackets trail the Washington Capitals by four points for first place in the division, Eastern Conference and NHL. The Capitals lost to the Arizona Coyotes 6-3.
The Blackhawks (50-21-7) lead the Minnesota Wild by nine points for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference. The Wild have one game in hand. Chicago is three points behind Washington for first in the NHL.
WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Blackhawks highlights
Artemi Panarin scored two goals, and Marian Hossa scored for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford made 32 saves.
Nick Foligno scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves for the Blue Jackets.
Panarin scored an empty-net goal with 44 seconds left to make it 3-1. Patrick Kane got his third assist of the game on the goal to give him 750 points in the NHL (285 goals, 465 assists).
Chicago is 8-1-2 in its past 11 games.
"I think that's another good team tonight that we were facing from the East," Kane said. "It's nice to have that measuring stick, see where you stand against that conference."
The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead 32 seconds into the first period on Panarin's 27th goal four seconds into a power play. The Blue Jackets tied it 1-1 at 17:15 when Foligno scored his 25th goal, which was his first in nine games.
The Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead at 17:37 off the rush during a 4-on-4 when Kane passed in front to Hossa for his 26th goal.
Video: CBJ@CHI: Foligno finishes Gagner's feed from down low
Columbus, 0-for-4 on the power play, has scored nine goals in the past six games.
"It's tough when you have a 2-1 game and the power play has a couple of chances and still doesn't find a way," Foligno said.
Goal of the game
Jonathan Toews got the puck to Kane after a faceoff win. He passed to Panarin in the right circle for a wrist shot that beat Bobrovsky high.
Video: CBJ@CHI: Panarin nets PPG in opening minute
Saves of the game
Bobrovsky made back-to-back saves at the goalmouth on Hossa and Marcus Kruger with 15:55 left in the third period.
Video: CBJ@CHI: Bobrovsky robs Hossa, Kruger with pad stops
Unsung performance of the game
Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked a shot by Jack Johnson 4:00 into the second period and was in considerable pain. He missed several shifts but returned, finishing with 21:08 of ice time, 3:45 shorthanded, and two blocks.
Highlight of the game
Hossa took a centering pass from Kane, froze Bobrovsky with a move and scored.
Video: CBJ@CHI: Hossa slides home a backhand with nice move
They said it
"I thought the second and third periods, other than a couple of breakdowns, we played really well. We played well throughout the game. I have a good feeling about the team after tonight." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella
"[Corey Crawford] was excellent tonight. Very sharp, very quick. They go to the net hard. There's a lot of traffic, a lot of bodies. He was finding the puck and was square to the next shot as well. He looked very alert around the net." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville
"The first goal wasn't going to bother us. Everyone was excited to play tonight. It's a fun building to play in against a great team. We had tons of chances. We're just not scoring enough." -- Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson on the Blackhawks scoring 32 seconds into the game
Need to know
The Blue Jackets ended their 18th of an NHL-high 19 back-to-backs 21-9-6, including 9-5-4 in the second game. … Columbus is 13 for its past 104 (12.5 percent) on the power play. … Blue Jackets forward Lukas Sedlak left the game in the second period because of an upper-body injury. … The Blackhawks reached 50 wins for the second time in their history. The first was in 2009-10 (52) when they won the Stanley Cup. … Kane has 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) and Panarin has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in the past 12 games. … Toews got his 350th NHL assist.
Blue Jackets: Host the Washington Capitals on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; FS-O, CSN-DC+, NHL. TV)
Blackhawks: Host the Boston Bruins on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, NHL.TV)
Video: Kane notches three assists as Hawks down Jackets, 3-1