for this game

Blackhawks ride big first period to victory

Mar 15, 2008 - 4:00 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Once again, the Chicago Blackhawks took it to the Columbus Blue Jackets early.

Defensemen Cam Barker and Duncan Keith and center Dave Bolland scored first-period goals and the Blackhawks went on to end their four-game slide and post a 6-3 victory over the Blue Jackets on Friday.

Rookie Patrick Kane, blue-liner Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd also tallied for Chicago (34-31-7), which climbed within five points of idle Vancouver (35-26-10) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"Obviously, we need to get on a roll here," Barker said. "I think coming in here, playing hard and scoring some goals, it was a good thing. I think we obviously need to straighten things out here to be able to make a run for it. We need to put together a couple of games and get a run at it."

Fredrik Modin, Dan Fritsche and All-Star Rick Nash scored for the Blue Jackets (31-29-11), who remained seven points behind the Canucks.

"We have to stay confident and put this behind us pretty quick," Nash said. "We have some big games coming up and we know we have to play better to give us any chance at moving up in the playoff race."

"Every game is critical right now," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock added. "We have got to stay focused on the task at hand and do a better job eliminating the mistakes to give us any chance at all at the playoffs."

After scoring four goals in the first period of a 7-2 victory in the last meeting between the teams here on February 13, Chicago tallied three times in the opening session of this one.

"We knew from the last game," Nash said. "We knew we wanted to get a quick start. They came in and dominated and scored three quick ones."

"We made a lot of points to recognize what happened the last time these guys were here," Columbus' Michael Peca added. "They got off to that quick start because we were soft in our own arena. We prepared ourselves to be on the initiating side of things tonight. We make a soft play a (minute) in and it's in our net. We seemed to make a couple more soft plays that first period that got us down three."

On the first shot of the game, Barker beat goaltender Pascal Leclaire high to the glove side from the point 60 seconds into the contest to open a 1-0 lead.

An All-Star, Keith doubled the advantage during a power play midway through the period. Sneaking down the slot, Keith received a pass from the right side of the net by Robert Lang and buried it at 11:21 for his 11th goal of the season.

"We were in the game early," Keith said. "We got a lot of pucks and bodies to the net. We kept it pretty simple in the first period. We really needed to get into this one early, and we did a good job."

Bolland increased the lead to 3-0 less than two minutes later, converting the rebound of Kane's backhander from the left side of the crease with 6:48 remaining.

"We started very well in the first period," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "We were ready to play, bottom line."

"We talked about coming out with a lot of energy and putting pressure on them all over the ice," Ladd added. "I thought in the first period, we did that. Obviously, it showed with the score."

That ended the night for Leclaire, who yielded three goals on just six shots.

Columbus limited Chicago to just one more shot before the first intermission and appeared to regroup for the second period, as Modin and Fritsche scored 27 seconds apart to cut the deficit to 3-2.

During a man advantage, Modin unleashed a slap shot from the top of the slot that went between the legs of defenseman James Wisniewski and past screened netminder Patrick Lalime at 6:27.

Before the fans finished celebrating, rookie Jared Boll made a backhand pass from behind the net to Fritsche, whose shot from the right faceoff circle glanced off the left skate of defenseman Brent Seabrook and entered the net.

"We showed a lot of character that we came back, but it still wasn't good enough," Nash said. "We didn't play a good-enough game. We have to be playing more desperate at this point in the season."

Kane put the Blackhawks in front by two at the 12-minute mark, poking in a loose puck in the crease for his 17th of the campaign. But the Blue Jackets again got within one at 7:15 of the third, when Nash's shot from the outer edge of the right circle sneaked inside the left goalpost for his 36th goal.

However, Chicago did not let Columbus get any closer, as Ladd set up Byfuglien's 17th goal at 10:20 before netting one of his own on a one-timer with 3:23 remaining to cap the scoring.

"We were really poor in our own zone," Hitchcock said. "We weren't poor with our coverage, we were poor with the puck. I think everyone is really disappointed in the way we played in our own zone."

Patrick Sharp recorded two assists and Lalime made 29 saves for the Blackhawks, who had gone 0-3-1 in their previous four games.

"One at a time. We are looking forward to the next one," Lalime said. "One at a time, play well and do our best. We still believe in this room here and we are going to do anything we can to get the job done."

Norrena turned aside 16 shots for Columbus, which fell to 2-3-2 in its last seven.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 3 1 2 6
    COLUMBUS 0 2 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - CAM BARKER 5 (UNASSISTED) 1:00
    CHI - (PP) DUNCAN KEITH 11 (ROBERT LANG, RENE BOURQUE) 11:21
    CHI - DAVE BOLLAND 4 (PATRICK KANE, CAM BARKER) 13:12
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) FREDRIK MODIN 6 (DAVID VYBORNY, DICK TARNSTRO

    Mar 14 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 6
    COLUMBUS 3
    3RD PRD: CHI - (PP) ANDREW LADD 12 (PATRICK SHARP, BRENT SEABROOK)
    16:37

    Blackhawks 6, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 3:23Mar 14 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 5
    COLUMBUS 3
    3RD PRD: CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 17 (ANDREW LADD) 10:20

    Blackhawks 5, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 9:40Mar 14 9:10 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 4
    COLUMBUS 3
    3RD PRD: COB - RICK NASH 36 (UNASSISTED) 7:15

    Blackhawks 4, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 12:45Mar 14 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 3 1 4
    COLUMBUS 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - CAM BARKER 5 (UNASSISTED) 1:00
    CHI - (PP) DUNCAN KEITH 11 (ROBERT LANG, RENE BOURQUE) 11:21
    CHI - DAVE BOLLAND 4 (PATRICK KANE, CAM BARKER) 13:12
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) FREDRIK MODIN 6 (DAVID VYBORNY,

    Mar 14 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 4
    COLUMBUS 2
    2ND PRD: CHI - PATRICK KANE 17 (JONATHAN TOEWS, PATRICK SHARP) 12:00

    Blackhawks 4, Blue Jackets 2  2nd - 8:00Mar 14 8:21 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 3
    COLUMBUS 2
    2ND PRD: COB - DAN FRITSCHE 10 (JARED BOLL, ANDREW MURRAY) 6:54

    Blackhawks 3, Blue Jackets 2  2nd - 13:06Mar 14 8:13 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 3
    COLUMBUS 1
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) FREDRIK MODIN 6 (DAVID VYBORNY, DICK TARNSTROM)
    6:27

    Blackhawks 3, Blue Jackets 1  2nd - 13:33Mar 14 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 3 3
    COLUMBUS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - CAM BARKER 5 (UNASSISTED) 1:00
    CHI - (PP) DUNCAN KEITH 11 (ROBERT LANG, RENE BOURQUE) 11:21
    CHI - DAVE BOLLAND 4 (PATRICK KANE, CAM BARKER) 13:12
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- ---

    Mar 14 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 3
    COLUMBUS 0
    1ST PRD: CHI - DAVE BOLLAND 4 (PATRICK KANE, CAM BARKER) 13:12

    Blackhawks 3, Blue Jackets 0  1st - 6:48Mar 14 7:31 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    COLUMBUS 0
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) DUNCAN KEITH 11 (ROBERT LANG, RENE BOURQUE) 11:21

    Blackhawks 2, Blue Jackets 0  1st - 8:39Mar 14 7:27 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0
    1ST PRD: CHI - CAM BARKER 5 (UNASSISTED) 1:00

    Blackhawks 1, Blue Jackets 0  1st - 19:00Mar 14 7:12 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Nuno Added 5 roots

    Blackhawks vs. Blue JacketsMar 14 4:32 PM