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Kukkonen's goal lifts Blackhawks to second straight win

Nov 13, 2006 - 2:45 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Defenseman Lasse Kukkonen and the Chicago Blackhawks have had trouble winning games this season, much less two in a row.

Kukkonen scored and Brian Boucher made 28 saves as the Blackhawks downed the Columbus Blue Jackets, 1-0, for their second straight triumph.

It only was the second time this season Chicago has won two straight games. The Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche on October 16 and defeated the Montreal Canadiens two days later.

Kukkonen scored 7:04 into the second period when he took a pass from Bryan Smolinski and fired a shot from the faceoff circle over Columbus goaltender Fredrik Norrena's glove.

"Smolinski (Bryan) just saw me coming in and made a good pass," Kukkonen said. "I was just aiming for the open corner, and I got it to go in."

"It was a decent shot, it just got over my left pad, and I didn't have time to get my glove down," Norrena said.

The victory was sweet for Boucher, who entered with a 0-7-1 record with a 3.37 goals-against average and a .884 save percentage.

"Yeah it was," he said. "It's not the type of game the league wants, 1-0. It is a good win for us, and it was a good weekend. Getting five of the last six possible points shows we are going in the right direction."

The shutout was the 12th of Boucher's career and his first since the 2003-04 season.

"It feels awesome," he said. "I wish I could have a few more by now, but it was nice to get my first win too."

Norrena finished with 18 saves for the Blue Jackets, who went 0-for-8 on the power play. The Blackhawks were 0-for-3 with the extra skater.

Chicago left wing Rene Bourque suffered a laceration to his throat late in the second period. He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center and was in stable condition.

"He is stable and it is not life threatening," Chicago coach Trent Yawney said. "That is what we were most worried about."

A Blackhawks spokesman said Bourque will require a "good number" of stitches and should be able to accompany the club on its upcoming five-game western road trip.

"Obviously we have more than we did a week ago," Yawney said of his club heading out west with some momentum. "There are some things we need to keep working on to make this trip successful."

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