Chicago outlasts Columbus
Blackhawks win 3-1
The Chicago Blackhawks wrapped up a successful week by coming from behind to outlast the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Sunday night and complete a three game sweep of the past week’s action.
The game featured outstanding goaltending at both ends of the ice. Cristobal Huet was named second star of the game. Included in his 31 saves was a stop of a Rick Nash breakaway late in the first period and then late in the second period Huet denied Nash again, this time on a wrap-around attempt.
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Martin Havlat scored his eight goal of the season which proved to be the winner on a neat passing play with Duncan Keith at 9:36 of the third period. Columbus’ rookie goaltender Steve Mason proved to be tough throughout the night as he displayed an uncanny ability to get himself square to the shooter. Mason made 28 saves, but Patrick Sharp was able to beat Mason with a power play marker with one second remaining in the second period for his 17 th goal of the season. Sharp scooped up a loose puck behind the Blue Jackets net and had just enough time to carom a shot off a sprawling Mason into the net as time expired. Cam Barker and Patrick Kane assisted on the power play goal.
Brent Seabrook notched an empty-net goal his fourth goal of the season with 22 seconds remaining to ice Chicago’s fourth straight win. An assist went to Duncan Keith on the game-clinching marker.
Fredrik Modin had given the Blue Jackets the lead with an even-strength tally in the second minute of the game when he beat Huet on the glove side with a wicked wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle.
Havlat was named the game’s first star, Huet the second star and the third star went to Patrick Sharp.
The win was the fourth straight for Chicago since a 5-4 shootout loss in Detroit on December 6. The Blackhawks are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games as they attempt to keep the division leading Detroit Red Wings in their sights.
The victory was the second of the season for the Blackhawks over the Columbus Blue Jackets. They had posted a 4-3 victory in Columbus on November 1.
Chicago started off the weekend by defeating the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night by a score of 4-3.
The Blackhawks embark on a pre-Christmas tour of Western Canada when they visit Edmonton on Tuesday night and then complete the western swing with stopovers in Calgary and Vancouver on Friday and Saturday. The Blackhawks return to the United Center to face the Philadelphia Flyers on December 26.
Highlight of the Game: Martin Havlat’s eight goal of the season in the third period was the game winner and for me the highlight of the night. Havlat secured the puck at the Blue Jackets’ blue line and swung around to the left side and slid a pass to Duncan Keith who passed back and forth with Havlat before creating an opening for the quick wrist shot past Steve Mason.
Top Prospect: Chicago’s first round draft choice in the 2008 NHL draft, Kyle Beach was named first star of the game as he led the Everett Silvertips of the WHL to a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over the Prince George Cougars onDecember 14. Beach had three assists in the game, giving him 27 points on the season.
ProHockey-fans.com Chicago Blackhawks Correspondent
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