Friday, April 04, 2014
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Preview: Blackhawks At Blue Jackets

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[April 04, 2014] 

(SportsDirect Inc.)  The Chicago Blackhawks look to continue their dominance in the all-time series when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. Chicago has won 12 straight overall meetings with the Blue Jackets and eight in a row in Columbus. The Blackhawks skated to a 6-1 home victory on March 6 as captain Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw scored two goals apiece.

Chicago again will be without stars Toews (upper body) and Patrick Kane (lower body) as it attempts to pull within one point of second-place Colorado in the Central Division. Columbus has an opportunity to pass Detroit for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and pull even in points with third-place Philadelphia in the Metropolitan Division. The Blue Jackets also can move three points ahead of Toronto for the second wild card.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, CSN (Chicago), FSN Ohio (Columbus)


ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (43-19-15): Chicago ended its three-game losing streak with a 3-2 shootout victory over Minnesota on Thursday after allowing the tying goal with 1:54 remaining in the third period. In addition to Toews and Kane, who both are out for the rest of the regular season, the Blackhawks were without defensemen Michal Rozsival and Johnny Oduya on Thursday. Rozsival has not played since March 16 while Oduya was held out of the lineup  both with lower-body injuries.

ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (39-30-7): Sergei Bobrovsky stole the show in his return to Philadelphia, making 37 saves en route to his fourth shutout of the season. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner had not played in the City of Brotherly Love since being traded to Columbus in June 2012. The win was the Blue Jackets' first in seven all-time visits to Philadelphia.

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OVERTIME

  1. Blue Jackets D Ryan Murray could be in the lineup for the first time since undergoing knee surgery on March 7.

  2. Columbus could be without LW Nick Foligno, who exited Thursday's game with a lower-body injury.

  3. Chicago LW Bryan Bickell scored in his return to the lineup after missing six contests with an upper-body injury.

PREDICTION: Blue Jackets 3, Blackhawks 2

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