The Blackhawks held on to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 last night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio and maintained their perfect record so far this season. With the win, the Blackhawks improved to 5-0-0.
The game winning goal came at 8:50 of the second period, when Blackhawks’ forward Bryan Bickell deflected a Niklas Hjalmarsson slap shot that changed direction and beat Columbus goalie Steve Mason. The goal was Bickell’s first of the season and put the Blackhawks in front 2-1.
Later in the period, the Blackhawks would catch a break when a Columbus goal was disallowed for goaltender interference. After numerous views of the replay, it appeared that Blackhawks’ goalie was not interfered with, or if he was, it was an extremely minor infraction. Regardless, the call stood, and the Columbus fans made their dissatisfaction known by reigning boos down on the referees.
The Blackhawks would pull ahead 3-1, when at 6:35 of the third period, the Blue Jackets failed to clear the puck and Chicago’s Patrick Kane connected on a pass to Jonathan Toews, who was all alone in front of the Columbus’ net. Towes faked to the backhand, and then back to the forehand, where he guided the puck past Mason at a difficult angle. The goal was Toews’ third of the season. The assist was Kane’s second of the game and seventh of the season.
Patrick Kane, who many have said has something to prove this season, including even Patrick Kane himself, is off to a red hot start, with 9 points (2 goals, 7 assists) in 5 games.
The Blue Jackets would not jut role over and die and fought back late in the third period. With their goalie pulled for the extra attacker, Artem Anisimov picked up a rebound off a Brandon Dubinsky shot and beat Crawford from point blank range.
With the score 3-2 late in the third period, the Blue Jackets again pulled their goaltender, but this time were unable to convert. The game would end with a 3-2 score and a Blackhawks’ victory.
Corey Crawford made 24 saves on 26 shots and improved to 4-0-0, with a .923 save percentage and a GAA of 1.99 on the year. Crawford’s save percentage of .923 currently ranks him 9th in the league.
Dave Bolland scored the Blackhawks’ first goal of the game. The goal was his third of the season.
Patrick Kane was awarded first star of the game honors.
The Blackhawks next game is at home on Sunday night versus the Detroit Red Wings. The puck will drop at 6 p.m. CST.