Blackhawks defeat Blue Jackets for 50th win
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[April 01, 2017]
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks
right winger Marian Hossa is grateful that he does not have to face
Corey Crawford in the opposing net.
If only the Columbus Blue Jackets could be so fortunate. Crawford
stopped 32 of 33 shots, including a point-blank opportunity against
Boone Jenner in the third period, and Chicago pulled away for a 3-1
"It's huge," Hossa said. "'Crow' is great -- and better each year. I
remember him as a young goalie, and since that time he is getting
better and better. It's fun to see him so confident, so calm in the
As a team, the Blackhawks are feeling the same way.
Hossa scored the tiebreaking goal and Artemi Panarin scored twice as
Chicago (50-21-7) secured its second 50-win regular season in
franchise history. Four games remain as the Blackhawks chase the
franchise record of 52 wins (2009-10).
"It's obviously nice to start thinking about maybe having home ice
throughout the Western Conference finals," said Patrick Kane, who
tallied three assists to increase his season total to 87 points. "We
feel we have a team in here that can make a deep run, and we love
playing here in this building."
Columbus (49-20-8) also has high hopes for postseason success
despite tallying only nine goals in its past six contests. The Blue
Jackets finished the month with a 10-4-2 record.
Nick Foligno scored the lone goal against Crawford. The Blue Jackets
had a 33-24 edge in shots on goal and 61 attempts in all -- 19 of
which were blocked and nine of which missed the net.
"I just want our team playing the right way and I want an aggressive
mindset, and that showed up here tonight," coach John Tortorella
said. "That's really important to have in a couple weeks here."
Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky allowed two goals on 23 shots
to drop to 41-14-5. Bobrovsky sustained a loss in regulation for the
first time since Feb. 19.
Crawford deflected credit to his teammates after he improved to
32-16-3 on the season. He has allowed two goals or fewer in three of
his past four starts.
The Blackhawks killed all four power-play chances by the Blue
Jackets. Defensemen Brent Seabrook and Trevor van Riemsdyk shared
the team lead with four blocked shots apiece, and blue-liner Johnny
Oduya blocked three shots.
"That was a fast game," Crawford said. "It was a good challenge
against a team like that, one of the better teams in the league. Our
(penalty kill) was really good, our d-men were blocking shots and
scooped a couple away from the side of the net. We've got to keep
playing like that."
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Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski (8) defends against Chicago
Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) and Chicago Blackhawks left
wing Artemi Panarin (72) during the third period at the United
Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
The Blackhawks capitalized on an early power play to
grab a 1-0 lead only 32 seconds after the opening faceoff. A faceoff
win by Jonathan Toews preceded a hard wrist shot by Panarin, who
netted his 27th goal of the season and his third goal in as many
Columbus evened the score at 1 with 2:45 to go in the first period.
Sam Gagner fed a pass from behind the net to Foligno, who ripped a
one-timer for his 25th goal of the season.
Twenty-two seconds later, Hossa scored on a two-on-one rush with
Kane to put Chicago on top 2-1.
Panarin finished the scoring with an empty-net goal with 43.9
seconds remaining in the third period.
"Another game where we are just not able to get the offense that we
need," Foligno said. "We are doing a lot of good things. There are
so many other things that we are doing well in the game, it just
seems that when it comes time to get that big one, we can't find
Chicago has earned points in 18 of its past 21 meetings against
"That's a team that's been successful all year," Kane said. "You can
see they play a hard game. It's not an easy game out there. I
thought we played the right way."
NOTES: The Blue Jackets did not arrive in Chicago until Friday
afternoon. The team's charter plane had mechanical problems Thursday
night and was forced to return to Raleigh-Durham International
Airport about 30 minutes after takeoff, according to the Columbus
Dispatch. Team personnel arranged for players to spend the night in
Raleigh, where they had lost a road game earlier in the evening
against the Carolina Hurricanes. ... Blackhawks RW Jordin Tootoo
returned to the lineup in place of RW Tomas Jurco, who was a healthy
scratch. ... Blue Jackets RW Oliver Bjorkstrand missed his fifth
consecutive game because of an upper-body injury. ... Blackhawks RW
Marian Hossa scored his 525th career goal to move past Bryan
Trottier for 34th place on the NHL's all-time list.
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