Blackhawks Try for Five in Columbus

The Chicago Blackhawks look to continue their perfect season on Saturday, while the Columbus Blue Jackets are desperate to break a three-game losing streak.

This is the first of four match-ups between Chicago and Columbus.  Chicago hosed the ice with the Blue Jackets over six games last season, winning each by three or more points.

Date Visitor/Home Final
March 20, 2012 CHI @ CBJ CHI, 5-1
February 18. 2012 CHI @ CBJ CHI, 6-1
January 10, 2012 CBJ @ CHI CHI, 5-2
December 26, 2011 CBJ @ CHI CHI, 4-1
November 10, 2011 CHI @ CBJ CHI, 6-3
October 29, 2011 CBJ @ CHI CHI, 5-2

Columbus has been plagued early by slow starts, giving up the first goal in three of their four games.  While the team has created plenty of opportunities for themselves over the past week, they’ve only notched three points on the board.

Chicago arrives in Columbus fresh off a challenging night in Dallas.  The offensive powerhouse had a tough time getting the puck past Stars’ net-minder, Kari Lehtonen, who kept the Blackhawks at bay with 38 saves before that sweet Hossa goal in OT.

This game should be an easy takeaway for the Blackhawks, a team that is consistently improving on the PK and delivering on the PP (all of CHI goals in DAL were PPGs).  What the windy city team needs to focus on now is not getting comfortable, and staying on their toes, literally.

Former Hawk, and CSN Chicago broadcaster, Eddie Olczyk got it right Thursday night when he said the Blackhawks were “off their toes, and skating on the middle of their skates.”  Winning streaks amp up excitement, but they can also make a team settle into routine and be flat on the ice, missing opportunities and allowing for easy goals.

Nervous for the Blackhawks on Saturday?  A quick look at these stats might ease your mind:

Blackhawks STAT Blue Jackets
4 W 1
0 L 2
0 OT 1
8 P 3
1.000 P% 0.375
4.25 G/G 1.50
30.0 PP% 16.7
91.7 PK% 87.5
30.2 S/G 30.0

This game is key for both of these teams, Chicago could skate away with their fifth  straight win and Columbus can break this bad mojo losing streak before their long home campaign.

Injury Report: CHI- Daniel Carcillo out indefinitely with lower body injury.  CBJ- Cam Atkinson is day-to-day with a lower body injury.

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