Blackhawks Shuffle Lines, Beat Blue Jackets 6-1
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CHICAGO (AP) — Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews had two goals apiece, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-1 on Thursday night.
Brandon Bollig and Bryan Bickell also scored as Chicago bounced back from a 4-2 home loss to Colorado on Tuesday night. Corey Crawford made 22 saves for his 10th consecutive victory against Columbus.
Ryan Johansen scored his 25th goal for the Blue Jackets, who had won three in a row. Sergei Bobrovsky made 14 stops before he was pulled during the Blackhawks’ three-goal second period.
The Stanley Cup champions had managed just eight goals while dropping three of four, and five of those came against Pittsburgh at Soldier Field on Saturday. That prompted coach Joel Quenneville to shuffle his lines, putting Shaw with Toews and Saad in the top group and moving Patrick Sharp to the second line with Michal Handzus and Patrick Kane.
After Johansen took advantage of a bad line change to tie it at 1 at 7:56 of the first, it was all Blackhawks. They outshot the Blue Jackets 33-23 for the game and lead the NHL with 221 goals.
Shaw sparked the runaway win when he made the most of a terrific pass by Sheldon Brookbank, beating Bobrovsky into the upper right corner with 3:16 left in the first. Brookbank’s long pass banked off the boards and sprung Shaw for a breakaway on the right side of the ice.
Chicago added three more in the second, highlighted by Brandon Saad’s impressive series of moves that set up Toews for an easy score.
Saad skated around James Wisniewski and Nathan Horton before he was stopped by Bobrovsky. The rebound went right back to Saad, who passed to Toews on the other side of the net to make it 3-1 eight minutes into the second.
Bickell had a rebound score that chased Bobrovsky and Brent Seabrook’s slap shot went off Shaw and past Curtis McElhinney with 2:16 left in the period. It was the 16th goal for Shaw, who stopped an 11-game drought.
Toews added a power-play goal in the third for his 24th of the season. The captain has five goals and an assist in the last three games.
It was more than enough for Crawford, who improved to 10-2-0 in his career against the Blue Jackets. He made a nice save on Matt Calvert’s backhand in the first and turned away Nick Foligno on a close opportunity in the second.
NOTES: Blue Jackets D Nikita Nikitin left in the second period with an upper body injury. … Blackhawks C Peter Regin missed the morning skate, but Quenneville said he was resting and he managed to play in the game. … The Blue Jackets scratched LW Blake Comeau, RW Corey Tropp and Ds Ryan Murray and Cody Goloubef. … Ds David Rundblad and Michal Rozsvial, plus injured F Marian Hossa, were the scratches for the Blackhawks.
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