|P. Lalime / J. Wisniewski / B. Seabrook Post-Game Video|
|Denis Savard Post-Game Video|
|- Photo Gallery|
The Blackhawks exploded for three goals in the final period to whip Central Division rival Columbus 5-2 and snap a three-game home ice skid Wednesday at the United Center.
Chicago's goal barrage was paced by its defensemen -- James Wisniewski, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith.
After a scoreless opening period, the Hawks took the lead in the second frame at 8:29 with Wisniewski notching his 4th of the season on a neat passing combo. Jason Williams passed the puck to Robert Lang in the Blue Jacket zone, then back to Williams, who caught a charging Wisniewski and the 23-year old blue liner beat Fredrik Norrena with a 10-foot backhander for a 1-0 lead.
Chicago had dominated play through the first two periods, outshooting Columbus 15-4 in the first to wind up the game 35-26.
The Blue Jackets started coming on late in the middle period with Hawks goalie Patrick Lalime making key stops on Nikolai Zherdev, Rick Nash and Manny Malholtra, plus catching a break when a shot went through his pads but bounced off the goal post.
Columbus came out strong in the first three minutes of the final period to grab the lead. Rostislav Klesia tied the game at 1:11 when his 35-footer caught the upper left corner of the net.
The Blue Jackets went ahead at 2:36 when Zherdev deflected a pass from Michael Peca just outside the goal crease for his 4th of the season.
Less than five minutes later, the Hawks tied the game with rookie Jonathan Toews blasting a 25-footer past Norrena after taking a pass from Tuomo Ruutu. It was Toews' 6th of the campaign and he later added an assist to give him 13 points (6-7) in 13 games.
The Hawks regained the lead less than two minutes later when Ruutu fed Seabrook and he blew by Jan Hejda to beat Norrena with a backhander.
Continuing the assault, the Hawks made it 4-2 when rookie Dave Bolland set up Keith who flew in from the blue line to ram a short shot past the beleaguered Norrena.
On a power play at 16:25, Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock pulled his goalie for an extra attacker but failed to capitalize. Hitchcock pulled his goalie again with less than two minutes left in regulation and got another power play attempt, but it backfired.
Chicago's Patrick Sharp was awarded his 3rd shorthanded score of the season and his 6th overall with 12 seconds left in regulation when a Columbus defender dislodged the empty net as Sharp was firing the puck.
Hawks coach Denis Savard praised the solid effort of his team and singled out the play of newly recalled
Dustin Byfuglien. Also, Savard reported that veteran Kevyn Adams suffered a torn ACL in his knee and will be out for a prolonged period.
The Hawks are now 8-7 and handed the Blue Jackets their first loss in regulation in their past sevem games to see their record fall to 8-4-2.
Toews was named the game's #1 star with Seabrook #2 and rookie Adam Burish -- who battled Curtis Glencross in the opening period -- #3.
The Hawks continue their homestand against division rivals at the United Center Friday with St. Louis and Sunday with Detroit.
AP Notes: Notes: Columbus C Manny Malhotra played his 500th NHL game. ... Columbus D Duvie Westcott missed his sixth game with a concussion. Blue Jackets' Fredrik Modin sat out his second game with a back injury. ... Chicago LW Sergei Samsonov was a healthy scratch for the fifth straight game. ... Chicago LW Martin Havlat, who missed his 14th game with a shoulder injury, has resumed skating without contact.
Blue Jackets Quotes
LW Rick Nash: “It was a bad game by us. We didn’t follow our game plan. We didn’t do the things that we needed to do to beat them. We had a couple minutes here, a couple minutes there, where we played our hockey and it just proved to us that if we do -- when we follow the game plan -- what can happen. It was a terrible game by us tonight."
Head coach Ken Hitchcock: “Except for the last five minutes of the second period and the first eight minutes of the third, we didn’t have any energy. We didn’t play with any sense of desperation we’ve played with in the past. We were slow in a lot of areas. Our forwards as a group did not do the job that they’ve done all season. We played a very loose game and paid for it.”