Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky showed why he was the NHL's first star for last week, but in the end Corey Crawford got the best of him and the Blue Jackets.
Bobrovsky made 39 saves through overtime, but it was the Blackhawks escaping Nationwide Arena with a 2-1 win in a shootout on Thursday night.
The win snapped the Hawks' two-game losing streak and was their fourth straight 1-goal win over Columbus for a sweep of the season series. It was their 11th win in a row over their Central Division rivals.
“I like how we got back on track here tonight,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters. “We had a couple of tough periods our last two games and that was the differential, I thought. Finding ways to get points again was important for us.”
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored goals in the shootout while Crawford stopped two of three Columbus attempts. Crawford poked the puck away from Derick Brassard to end the game.
Kane also had an assist on the only Hawks goal in regulation by Johnny Oduya in the second period. It was Kane's 400th career point in his 426th game.
“It's nice to reach those milestones,” Kane told reporters. “Hopefully there's many more to come and I can keep going up the Blackhawk list.”
Only Denis Savard (300 games), Jeremy Roenick (350), Steve Larmer (398) and Stan Mikita (404) got to 400 points faster than Kane.
“I thought he was great,” Quenneville said. “He made a nice pass to Johnny Oduya, (and scored) a great goal as well. He got a little lucky in (the shootout), but I think he has some other plays that keeps everybody honest that gave him a chance to get the puck in the shootout and bury it.”
Kane nearly lost the puck on his shootout attempt but regained control in time to lift a backhander over a down and out Bobrovsky.
Bobrovsky was great for much of the night, robbing Duncan Keith, Brandon Bollig, Jimmy Hayes, Toews and Brent Seabrook with outstanding saves in the second and third periods.
“That guy came up with some huge saves all game long,” Crawford said.
But Bobrovsky's best stop came in overtime against Dave Bolland, who failed to lift a Nick Leddy rebound over the sprawling goalie.
“Don't get frustrated with it,” Quenneville said of running into a hot Bobrovsky. “I know he had a couple of saves, none bigger than the one on Bolland in overtime there. Just keep putting pucks on him. Sometimes they go in, but he was quick on the loose stuff tonight.”
The Blue Jackets now have a nine-game point streak (5-0-4).
“This team works; we saw all four games against them this year were basically on the line from start to finish,” Quenneville said. “Give Columbus credit for the way they're playing this year. That's a different team than we saw the last few years. They work hard and keep coming at you and make you play a hard game as well.
“I thought we checked well and didn't give up many quality chances.”
Crawford made 29 saves in the win. The two days off helped him and the team.
“I think we came refreshed and got better as the game went on,” Quenneville said. “I thought our defense was very good in front of (Crawford) making sure the quality wasn't at the high end.”
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