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Friday, April 1, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Hawks 4, Jackets 3 (SO)

By Jesse Rogers

Here's a quick look at the Hawks' shootout win in Columbus on Friday night.

How it happened: Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy was the theme of the night for the Hawks. Despite getting out to a 2-0 lead, thanks to a goal and assist by Patrick Kane, the Hawks were outplayed by the Jackets in the first period and most of the second. Bad penalties and turnovers haunted the visitors as Columbus broke an 11 game scoreless streak on its power play when they scored a 5-on-3 goal to tie the contest in the second period. When the Jackets took their first lead late in the third it looked like another late collapse but Bryan Bickell tied the game with an accurate wrist shot, just inside the blue line, a few minutes later.

What it means: It’s a win but boy it’s a bad one, especially considering Columbus played the night before and was without Rick Nash. Blowing a 2-0 lead won’t sit well either. The Hawks tend to play up and down to their opponents and Friday was no different. They didn’t deserve the win but they got it nonetheless. That’s something that hasn’t happened often this year. The Hawks have opened a five point lead on Dallas for the No. 8 seed in the conference.

What’s next: The Hawks return home for a practice day Saturday before hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. The Lightning beat the Hawks, 4-3, in early March on a controversial shootout winner by Martin St. Louis. Dave Bolland was knocked out of that game by Pavel Kubina who received a three game suspension for the hit to the head. Bolland has not played since due to a concussion.