Blue Jackets-Blackhawks Preview
GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (0-2-0) at Chicago Blackhawks (1-1-0).
TIME: Sunday, 7 p.m. EDT.
Two games into the season, the Columbus Blue Jackets are already shaking up their roster.
After unloading forward Geoff Sanderson in a five-player deal, the Blue Jackets hope to earn their first win of the season when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks.
On Saturday, Columbus dealt Sanderson and minor leaguer Tim Jackman for forwards Mike Rupp and Jason Chimera and defenseman Cale Hulse.
Hulse, 31, has 16 goals and 75 assists in 580 games with Calgary, Nashville, New Jersey and Phoenix. Rupp, 25, has 11 goals and nine assists in 83 NHL games with New Jersey and Phoenix.
Chimera, 26, missed the first two games of this season. He has 19 goals and 17 assists in his four-year career, all with Edmonton.
The Blue Jackets are coming off a 3-1 setback to Calgary on Friday, and are still without left wing Rick Nash, Columbus' best player and the youngest NHL goal-scoring champion ever.
Nash missed the game with a high ankle sprain that had troubled him in the preseason and that he aggravated in the opener. He is not expected to play Sunday.
"The ankle's not where I need it to be. I can't do everything I need to on the ice," Nash said. "There are 81 games left, no point rushing it. It's not a big deal if I miss five or six games."
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, are coming off their first win of the season, 6-3 over San Jose on Friday.
Inserted at left wing alongside Tyler Arnason and Tuomo Ruutu, Rookie Pavel Vorobiev had two goals and an assist for Chicago, which opened the season Wednesday with a 5-3 loss to Anaheim.
Vorobiev, who entered the game with one goal and three assists in 19 NHL contests, was a last-minute substitute on the line for Eric Daze.
"Vorobiev is just starting to evolve and is a world class player," Blackhawks coach Trent Yawney said. "It's just the tip of the iceberg. I've seen him play some games in the minors when he was just totally dominating."
Vorobiev, 23, said just shooting more - something Yawney has stressed to him - paid off against San Jose.
"Now I feel more comfortable and have more confidence," Vorobiev said. "It doesn't matter where I play. I'm going to play my game, my way."
The Blackhawks again will have to overcome a depleted defense on Sunday.
Adrian Aucoin played only four minutes Friday because of a groin injury, while Jaroslav Spacek missed his second game with sore ribs. Both are day-to-day, but Spacek hopes to be in the lineup Sunday.
STANDINGS (through Oct. 7): Blue Jackets - 0 points, 4th place, 4 PB, Central Division. Blackhawks - 2 points, 3rd place, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Blue Jackets - Dan Fritsche, 2 goals and 2 points; five players with 1 assist; Adam Foote, 6 PIM. Blackhawks - Vorobiev, 2 goals; Brent Seabrook, 5 assists and 5 points; Matthew Barnaby, 11 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Blue Jackets - Power play: 7.1 percent (1 for 14), 22nd in NHL. Penalty killing:75.0 percent (6 for 8), 25th. Blackhawks - Power play: 25.0 percent (4 for 16), 7.1 Penalty killing: 77.8 percent (7 for 9), 22nd.
GOALTENDERS: Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (0-1-0, 0 SO, 3.00 GAA); Pascal Leclaire (0-1-0, 0, 3.05). Blackhawks - Nikolai Khabibulin (1-1-0, 0, 4.03); Craig Anderson (no record).
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Blue Jackets, 4-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 27, 2004. At Chicago, Luke Richardson scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:51 left in the third period. David Vyborny, Sanderson and Jackman each had a goal and an assist for Columbus.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jackets - 0-0-0 on the road; Blackhawks - 1-1-0 at home.