The Chicago Blackhawks continue to plow through the Western Conference, and have not lost in regulation. The Columbus Blue Jackets, on the other hand, continue to have one thing after another go wrong but had a good showing the last time they met the Blackhawks. It is pretty much a given that Chicago is going to lose at some point, and while the Blue Jackets may seem like one of the less likely teams to ruin their streak, but that’s what makes tonight’s game even more dangerous.
The Blue Jackets held the Blackhawks to just one goal on 27 shots when they last met on Sunday. Steve Mason played very well in net, but the Columbus offense could not get anything past Corey Crawford. The Blue Jackets will turn to Mason again tonight as they try and stop the Blackhawks’ NHL record streak. With Crawford out, all signs point to Ray Emery getting the start between the pipes.
If the Blue Jackets hope to come out on top tonight, they will need more from their power play. Sunday saw them get five chances with the man-advantage but they were unable to convert. With James Wisniewski out, Vinny Prospal and Derick Brassard are the team’s most dangerous players on the power play and they need to try and be effective against a Chicago team that has the league’s second-best penalty kill. The injury-riddled Blue Jackets have seen six of their last seven games be decided by one-goal margins, with the lone win being a 3-2 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 21. If they can keep tonight’s game close and score more than one goal, they may have a chance to be the team that ends Chicago’s streak at 20 games.