for this game

Blackhawks best Blue Jackets

Dec 27, 2011 - 5:22 AM
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Viktor Stalberg scored twice and Corey Crawford made 37 stops as Chicago bested Columbus, 4-1, at United Center.

Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa added tallies for the Blackhawks, who have reeled off nine wins in their last 11 games.

James Wisniewski provided the lone offense for the Blue Jackets, who have lost eight of 10.

Steve Mason was tagged for all four goals on just 22 shots in the setback.

"It's a typical game for us where we start out good then mistakes kill us," said Columbus head coach Scott Arniel. "Instead of us making the plays it was them making the plays. We created chances, but they capitalized on theirs and we didn't."

Chicago snapped a scoreless deadlock with three goals in the second period, two coming from Stalberg.

Sharp got the ball rolling at the 4:48 mark when he fought off a Blue Jacket checker in the slot and redirected a Hossa pass into the net.

Stalberg doubled the advantage at 8:13 by following up his initial shot and beating Mason through the pads from the right circle.

It was 3-0 at 15:48 as Stalberg cradled a Dave Bolland pass for a split second before unleashing his ninth goal of the season over Mason's shoulder from the left circle.

"We kept to our plan there in the second period and it paid off," said Stalberg. "I think I'm playing ok and the puck seems to be finding me a little more. It was a good game."

Wisniewski's backhand shot from between the circles put Columbus on the board just past the three-minute mark of the third, but Hossa netted the clincher with 4:15 remaining off another Bolland pass for a power-play score.

In a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Crawford stopped 13 shots while Mason was perfect on just five Chicago opportunities.

Game Notes

Chicago has won the initial three meetings with Columbus this year, and has taken 11 of the last 15 matchups since the start of the 2009-10 season...Wisniewski snapped a 15-game goal drought...Stalberg recorded his second multi-goal effort of the season, and first since a two-goal game on October 29 against Columbus.