Blackhawks rookie Patrick Kane connected on his 7th shootout goal of the season to give Chicago a 5-4 victory before another sellout crowd at the United Center Sunday as they moved within three points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Hawks rallied from behind twice to tie the game with veteran Yanic Perreault knotting the score at 13:42 of the 3rd period. It was his 9th of the campaign as he was added to the lineup because of an injury to rookie Dave Bolland.
Perreault picked up a rebound off a shot by Cam Barker and virtually slid the puck just over the goal line to make 4-4.
The 19 year-old Kane set a Hawks record for assists (48) by a rookie on a power play in the 1st period when he set up fellow rookie Jonathan Toews for his 23rd goal at 3:54.
Toews took over the NHL rookie goal scoring lead and later added an assist. Also, Kane moved back into a tie for the rookie point scoring lead with Washington's Nicklas Backstrom.
Kane continued his terrific run on shootout goals with his 7th in nine attempts. Kane beat goalie Fredrik Norrena with a nifty backhander into the upper corner of the net. Meanwhile, Nikolai Khabibulin stopped all three Columbus attempts with pad saves against the visitors' top two scorers, Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev.
The Hawks tallied their first three goals on the power play, which was their best showing with the man advantage since last October when they tallied four in their win in Toronto.
After Toews' goal in the opening period, the Hawks penalty killers denied Columbus with a two-man advantage for 79 seconds, but the Blue Jackets tied the game when Andy Murray converted on a rebound for his 6th goal.
Columbus took a 2-1 lead on a power play at 18:31 when Michael Peca bounced a close-in shot off Khabibulin.
In the 2nd period, the Blue Jackets went up 3-1 at 3:36 when Zherdev beat the Hawk defense and flipped a shot into the upper corner of the net for his 26th goal.
Less than five minutes later on a power play, Jason Williams fired in a 25-footer for his 13th goal to trim the margin to 3-2.
The Hawks tied the game at three on a power play at 17:17 when they were enjoying a two-man advantage with team goal leader Patrick Sharp poking in his 36th goal off a pass from Robert Lang.
In the 3rd period, Columbus regained the lead when Derek MacKenzie converted a pass just outside the crease from David Vyborny at 3:57. The lead held up for 10 minutes before Perreault tied the game to send it into overtime.
In the extra period, Khabibulin made a big save in the first minute when he stopped a tip-in by Jason Chimera.
The Hawks best chance came at the three-minute mark on a 20-foot drive by Duncan Keith, who again led all skaters with more than 31 minutes of ice time.
Kane tallied the only shootout goal although Williams had Norrena beat but his shot went off the crossbar.
The Hawks were 3-of-7 on the power play with the Blue Jackets 1-of-5, while the visitors outshot Chicago 35-33. The teams split the season series 4-4.
The Hawks continue their late drive for the playoffs Wednesday night against arch rival and Western Conference leader Detroit at the United Center (7:30 pm).
AP Notes: Columbus was without six regulars: D Ron Hainsey, D Dick Tarnstrom, D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, LW Fredrik Modin, C Dan Fritsche and G Pascal Leclaire. ... Kane's assist was his 66th point, tying him with Washington's Niklas Backstrom for the rookie scoring lead.
Blue Jackets Quotes
Head coach Ken Hitchcock: "I think we had the game, especially in the third period; we had the game in perfect control and it's too bad. We couldn't close down and the puck's in the net. We did a great job on it. The goal should have never gotten in. We needed to be better there. That's where we needed the save, right there. Our guys did a great job of killing it. We just needed the save right there. Those are the fine lines."
Left wing Rick Nash: "I thought we came along nicely. We just didn't close. We couldn't hold them off. That's the way it goes. We couldn't score in the shootout."