Going into tonight’s game, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks had been on two different sorts of streaks. The past few games have seen the Blue Jackets break out of their early season rut, and win five of their last six games against the NHL‘s best.
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks early points streak was snapped, and then followed up by a disheartening loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Both teams are in a goalie dilemma, with the Blackhawks being forced to question starting goaltender Corey Crawford.
During the loss to Edmonton, Crawford once again looked shaky and possibly still effected by his concussion sustained earlier this season. However, the Blackhawks were not the only team in this match-up with questions regarding the starting net minder.
Long-time Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason lost his job earlier this season, and since then Sergei Bobrovsky has led the Blue Jackets on a run that nobody had predicted.
But this game, both goalies showed up ready to duel, and the result was an impressive, fast, shootout game. The Blackhawks put 40 shots on Bobrovsky between the three periods and overtime, while Crawford faced 30 shots, both goalies only allowed one goal in regulation.
The pace of the game was phenomenal, with both teams playing at a frenetic pace. Johnny Oduya of the Blackhawks broke the scoreless draught 3:15 into the second period, but was quickly answered by Jack Johnson when the Blue Jackets went on a power play a short time later.
From there on, both teams kept peppering the others goalies, but neither side would budge, resulting in overtime. The Blackhawks have fared well in overtime this season, as proven by their impressive record, and part of this has been thanks to their amazing talent that succeeds in four on four overtime hockey and shootouts.
Patrick Kane is on a furious pace this year, and tonight eclipsed a career milestone. Kane reached his 400th career point tonight on the assist to Johnny Oduya, the only goal of the game for the Blackhawks. It was his 260th career assist to go along with 140 goals, in 426 games.
In the shootout, Kane put his patented slow shootout move on Bobrovsky, who attempted to poke check the puck away. Kane went top shelf, and the Blackhawks won the game 2-1, after Derick Brassard could not respond in the final frame of the shootout.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486