Blackhawks win, earn point in 21st straight game

The Chicago Blackhawks had already extended their NHL-record

point streak once they got to overtime with the lowly Columbus Blue


With one standings point already in the bag, the high-flying

Blackhawks snagged the other one, too.

Brent Seabrook finished off a 2-on-1 rush at 3:23 of overtime to

give the Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the banged-up Blue Jackets and

stretch their season-opening points streak to 21 games.

This one was a struggle at home against the team with the fewest

points in the league.

The Blackhawks (18-0-3) have won eight straight overall and

haven’t been beaten in regulation time in 27 games, dating to a

loss on March 25, 2012, to Nashville.

The Blue Jackets (5-12-4) are saddled with injuries to key

players, but they skated toe-to-toe with Chicago for much of the

game. Columbus failed to hold onto a pair of one-goal leads.

”They come out and play 60 minutes hard,” Seabrook said.

”There are no easy games, and you can never take a night


Columbus’ Ryan Johansen scored with 7:37 left in regulation to

tie it at 3, snapping his 37-game goal drought.

But Chicago finished off the Blue Jackets when Jonathan Toews

carried the puck down left wing and dished a cross-ice pass to

Seabrook, who fired in a shot from the right circle before goalie

Steve Mason could slide across the crease.

”It was a great pass by Tazer,” Seabrook said. ”I just tried

to get up in the play. Tazer had some speed going up, and I tried

to help out.”

Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell scored 59 seconds apart late in

the second period, and Viktor Stalberg also connected in regulation

for Chicago, which has earned 39 out of a possible 42 points this


Ray Emery made 19 saves for the win.

Vinny Prospal and Artem Anisimov also had goals for Columbus,

which has a league-low 14 points.

”They had us on our heels a couple times,” Bickell said.

”They had a late goal, but it was good to see Seebs get on the

rush and pop the OT winner.

”We were down early in this game. It shows the character in

this room to come back. It’s been fun. We’re just having a blast

right now.”

The Blackhawks posted their 10th consecutive win against the

Blue Jackets, dating to Feb. 18, 2011.

Mason stopped 31 shots as he faced the Blackhawks for the second

time in less than a week. He made 26 saves in a 1-0 loss to Chicago

on Sunday.

”We did some pretty good things to be able to stick with those

guys, but we’re not doing enough to get that next goal,” Mason

said. ”We knew it would be a real test for us because we had a lot

of guys out.”

Earning one point, even in Chicago, wasn’t a moral victory for

Columbus coach Todd Richards.

”Regardless of who it us, it’s still a loss,” Richards said.

”We still just aren’t quite good enough. We battled and competed,

which is what we should do, but we’ve got to find ways to come out

on top.”

Anisimov scored in his first game after he missed three because

of an upper-body injury. He was hurt in Detroit on Feb. 21 when his

head struck the ice.

Columbus has lost seven of eight, with all but one of the

defeats by one goal.

Emery relieved Corey Crawford after the first period in St.

Louis on Thursday as the two combined to shut out the Blues 3-0.

Crawford was forced out by an upper-body injury. Crawford was back

on the bench Friday, serving as Emery’s backup.

The Blue Jackets were again without centers Brandon Dubinsky

(knee) and Derick Brassard (upper body) and defensemen Jack Johnson

(shoulder), James Wisniewski (broken foot) and John Moore (upper

body). Moore was injured Friday during Columbus’ morning skate.

Prospal gave the Blue Jackets the lead just 31 seconds into the


Emery made a glove save on Derek Dorsett’s drive from the right

circle, but knocked the rebound into the slot. Prospal swooped in

and fired the loose puck into the open net before Emery could


Stalberg tied it with 3:51 left in the first when he scored a

power-play goal from the edge of the crease. Battling in a scrum,

Stalberg converted a rebound of Brandon Saad’s shot.

Anisimov put Columbus back ahead with 7:18 left in the second on

a screened shot from the right wing. His shot appeared to glance

off of Chicago’s Daniel Carcillo before getting past Emery.

Mason came up with several tough saves, but was fooled when

Sharp tied it at 2 with 2:40 left in the period. Sharp cut down the

left wing and shoveled a backhanded shot from a sharp angle that

struck Mason’s blocker and slipped through.

Less than a minute later, Bickell put Chicago ahead 3-2 on a

2-on-1 break with Stalberg.

Columbus’ Mark Letestu and Matt Calvert, and Chicago’s Jamal

Mayers all fired shots off the post early in the third.

Johansen scored his first goal since Jan. 24, 2012, with 7:37 to

make it 3-3. Following a failed clearing attempt, Johansen took a

pass from Nick Foligno, broke in alone and slipped a backhander

past Emery.

Mason made two point-blank blocker saves on Stalberg with 2:55

left to keep the game tied.

But Chicago eventually prevailed, again.

”You get that swagger and confidence when you’re on a streak

like this.” Stalberg said ”You have confidence you’ll find a way

to get it done.”

NOTES: Stalberg has 11 goals and two assists in 15 games against

Columbus. … Blackhawks C Dave Bolland missed his fourth game

because of an upper-body injury. … The United Center crowd of

21,828 was the Blackhawks’ 200th straight sellout. … Columbus

recalled D Dalton Prout from Springfield of the AHL. The

22-year-old Prout played in his sixth NHL game.