Playing against the Columbus Blue Jackets can get any team back on track. And a trip to Columbus appears to be coming at just the right time for the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks are on their first losing streak this season and struggling on special teams, but the Hawks will try to end those woes tonight by adding to their recent mastery of the NHL’s worst club.
Chicago (8-4-3) hasn’t been effective on the power play this season, but had been picking up the slack with one of the strongest penalty kill units in the league.
That group, however, has faltered in a major way during the team’s 0-2-1 skid, allowing seven goals in nine chances, including five during a 6-2 loss to Vancouver on Sunday.
The Blackhawks had denied 34 of 37 opportunities over their first 12 games.
Chicago’s power play is also 1 for 30 over the past eight contests and went 0 for 4 during a 3-0 loss in St. Louis on Tuesday.
However, Chicago has also won three in a row at Nationwide Arena and will face a team that may still be stinging from one of the worst defensive performances in franchise history.
The Blue Jackets have not played since last Saturday in a 9-2 loss in Philadelphia.
During that break, Columbus also acquired center Mark Letestu from Pittsburgh for a fourth round draft pick. Letestu had one assist in 11 games with the Penguins this season, but coach Arniel said he thinks a player who had 27 points in 64 games in 2010-11 might thrive in a new location.
The Jackets are expected to get All Star center Jeff Carter back, but not until this weekend. He was expected to play tonight, but the Jackets are taking a few extra days for him.
Patrick Sharp of the Hawks has sustained success versus the Blue Jackets.
Sharp has 13 goals and 8 assists over the last 15 matchups, and four goals and five assists during a six game point streak in Columbus.
Patrick Kane has three goals and six assists during a five game streak at Nationwide Arena. Where the Blackhawks are 7-1-1 in their last nine starts.
Chicago Blackhawks – Corey Crawford
Columbus Blue Jackets – Steve Mason
Pucking Hockey is a registered trademark company. Pucking Hockey is a registered copyright company. All Rights Reserved.