Series (Game 4 of 6)

Chicago leads 4-2

Game 1: Friday, October 15th
Blue Jackets2
Game 2: Saturday, October 23rd
Blue Jackets3Final
Game 3: Sunday, December 26th
Blue Jackets1Final
Game 4: Tuesday, February 1st
Blue Jackets4
Game 5: Friday, February 18th
Blue Jackets4Final
Game 6: Friday, April 1st
Blue Jackets3

Blackhawks 7

(27-20-4, 58 pts)

Blue Jackets 4

(23-22-5, 51 pts)

7:00 PM ET, February 1, 2011

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

1 2 3 T
CHI 2 3 27
CBJ 1 2 14

J. Toews (Blackhawks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

D. Dorsett (Blue Jackets - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

V. Stalberg (Blackhawks - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Blackhawks-Blue Jackets Preview


The Chicago Blackhawks are hoping a memorable All-Star weekend will give them a boost in a competitive Western Conference playoff race.

Chicago can get that postseason hunt off to a strong start by winning the opener of a six-game road trip Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists in an 11-10 win Sunday for Team Lidstrom, which included teammates Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith. Leading goal scorer Patrick Sharp, who matched Toews' output, was named the game's MVP while playing for Team Staal.

"For once, I think (Sharp) has proven that he's one of those guys, that he's one of those stars," Toews said. "He's slowly worked hard to become one of those household names."

The weekend perhaps fulfilled the hopes of coach Joel Quenneville, who led Sharp's team, following back-to-back losses heading into the break.

"We should all come back with an attitude that we're not happy, we're sour," said Quenneville, whose team went 5-0-1 before that skid. "Let's make sure we come back rested and excited."

Heading into their final 32 games, the Blackhawks (26-20-4) are tied for seventh in the West with San Jose and Colorado. Minnesota and Los Angeles are a point behind that group, and Columbus, tied for 13th, is five back.

The Blue Jackets (23-21-5) were 3-0-2 before falling 3-2 to visiting Anaheim in their final game before the break last Tuesday.

"We need points," coach Scott Arniel said. "We can be close, we can play hard, we can compete and look nice. But if we don't get points, we're not going to make the playoffs. What we've done in the last two weeks has been good. ... At the end of the day, (the players) aren't satisfied with being close."

Rick Nash, who had a goal and an assist for Team Staal, is on an eight-game point streak but has none in three matchups against Chicago this season. The Blackhawks have prevailed in two of those games, including a 5-2 victory in the Nationwide Arena opener Oct. 15.

Sharp, who has 26 goals, scored twice in that game and has six goals and an assist in his last four versus the Blue Jackets. His 18 goals and 31 points against Columbus are his most versus one opponent.

Nash has a career-best 46 points against Chicago, but the Blue Jackets haven't gotten much help from their goaltenders while dropping three of four at home to the Blackhawks.

Columbus won 8-3 over Chicago on March 25 but has given up a combined 15 goals in the three losses.

Mathieu Garon has a 4.42 goals-against average in four straight defeats to the Blackhawks, while Steve Mason is 3-1-0 in his last four matchups despite a 3.02 GAA.

In his only game against the Blue Jackets, Chicago starter Corey Crawford was outdueled by Mason in a 3-2 loss at the United Center on Oct. 23. Marty Turco has a 1.50 GAA in two wins over Columbus this season and a 1.26 mark in his past four matchups.

The Blackhawks have earned at least one point in three straight road games (2-0-1).