The Jackets were down early to a team desperate to keep their hold on the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. The showed some real character by clawing back to tie, and then take the lead from Chicago, but a soft goal against deflated the team. Here's how it all happpened...
The first period started with both teams skating hard, moving the puck well. About two and a half minutes in, Antoine Vermette received the puck on a turnover at the Chicago blueline. He fed the puck to linemate Matt Calvert, who threw the puck back in front of the net where Vermette had a great chance, but was stopped by Corey Crawford. The Hawks immediately went the other way, with Patrick Kane cruising down the off wing with the puck, and wiring home a wrister.
At the 14:27 mark of the first, Jared Boll went to the box for roughing. The Hawks wasted no time-they moved the puck around the offensive zone, and blueliner Brent Seabrook crept in from the point and wired a shot past Garon.
Scott Arniel was interviewed on the bench after the tv timeout following Seabrook's goal. He was clearly unimpressed, owing the goals against to an "ill-advised pinch" on the first, and a "ban-bang play" on the second. I love his passion.
The teams traded chances, until a few minutes later when the Jackets got on the board. Anton Stralman took a feed at the point and put a shot on net, which was tipped in by Maksim Mayorov, for his first NHL goal. The goal was reviewed, but it was deemed a good goal. Another rookie making a fantastic impression for the Jackets this season. One thing is certain- training camp 2011 will be a fierce battle.
The Jackets had a powerplay shortly after the midway point of the first, but continued their run of futility with the man advantage. The Jackets managed two shots.
With about three minutes left in the first, the Hawks went on a powerplay of their own, but weren't able to capitalize themselves. The Jackets did a good job of clogging the lanes and forcing the Hawks away from taking shots.
Assistant coach Bob Boughner was wired for sound as part of the Jackets All Access, and one thing is clear- he is a great coach and the guys must love to play for him. He's a great compliment to coach Arniel.
End of the First Period: 2-1 Chicago
Early in the second the teams traded penalties, with no change in scoring. With four seconds to go in 4-on-4 play, Patrick Kane got his stick up in Marc Methot's face as he tried to skate around him for a puck in the corner. The high stick drew blood and the Jackets went up a man for four minutes. No shock though- the Jackets were unable to score.
Midway through the second things started to get chippy. Scrums were developing every time a goalie made a save. The Jackets also failed to score on another powerplay.
With 6 and half to go, Niclas Hjalmarsson was whistled for delay of game when he flipped puck over the glass. That put the Jackets up by two men, and with Derick Brassard quarterbacking the powerplay, he took the puck from between the slot and point and slapped home the puck to end the Jackets' atrocious run on the powerplay.
The play was very wide open to end the second period, with both teams having great chances, but the scored remained tied.
End of the Second Period: 2-2
The third period started well for the Jackets, they carried the play for the first few minutes. Jake Voracek and Derek MacKenzie had a two-on-one chance, but Corey Crawford came up with a beautiful save. To be honest, and it pains me to say this- it was the first time I really noticed Jake all game.
Tomas Kubalik was very noticeable in the game, and in the third period he was showing some feistiness, and was winning board battles on a consistent basis. On one occasion, he beat Marian Hossa in a corner battle, carrying the puck to the offensive zone for a scoring chance.
With about twelve minutes left, Fedor Tyutin blocked a shot with his chops, but was good to go on his next shift. Toots is the unquestioned leader of this blueline.
With a little over six minutes left in the game, Anton Stralman, who had a whale of a game, blasted the puck on net, and en-route Sammy Pahlsson placed his stick in the perfect spot for a tip-in. The puck went up over Crawford for a goal.
About one minute later, Bryan Bickell threw a floaer on net that Mathieu Garon absolutely needs to stop. Instead the puck beat Garon for a deflating tying goal. Uggghh.
Observation: Sami Lepisto is a great passer.
Late in the third, there was a clear hold on R.J. Umberger, but no call from the officials. Big miss.
End of regulation: 3-3
A minute into OT Matty Garon came up huge with a save on Marian Hossa.
The Hawks carried play for the first few minutes, but the level of play evened out for the last couple of minutes. The Jackets had a three-on-one opportunity, but the puck jumped over Vermmy's stick.
End of OT: 3-3.
Columbus: Mayorov- SAVE
Columbus: Kubalik- SAVE
Columbus: Voracek- SAVE
Chicago: Toews- MISS
Chicago: Kane- SAVE (A huge save!)
Chicago: Stalberg- GOAL
Final Score: 4-3 Blackhawks
- Line of Calvert-Vermette-Kubalik: The best line in the game against the Caps, the "second" line was again fantastic against the 'Hawks. Kubalik looks so comfortable out there.
- Maksim Mayorov: Congrats to Mayorov on his first NHL goal!
- Anton Stralman: Where was this Stralman all year? Awesome game for Strals. Three helpers.
- Viktor Stalberg: Had a great game, almost deserved to get the winner in the shootout.
Bottom Of The Barrel:
- Jakub Voracek: Where are you Jake?
- Patrick Kane: I have my reasons.
- Mathieu Garon: The game tying goal was a killer man, a real softie.
The Jackets don't really have much to play for, but they played a desperate 'Hawks team tough, coming back from two goals down to take a 3-2 lead. A soft goal allowed by Garon gave Chicago the chance to win it in the shootout, and they made no mistake.
The play of the rookies in this game, along with Anton Stralman, are reasons to be happy however.