Blue Jackets 4, Blackhawks 3 (SOL)

100 points is 100 points.  101 probably would’ve been nicer. 

After Nikolai Khabibulin denied Rick Nash on a penalty shot nine minutes into the game, the ‘Hawks quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Brent Seabrook and Dave Bolland.  Seabrook ended the power play goal drought after getting out of the penalty box and Brian Campbell made a beautiful pass to send him alone.  Seabrook beat Steve Mason between the legs.  Bolland extended the lead with less than a minute left after banking in a shot off a diving Rick Nash.  It looked as though the ‘Hawks would extend their win streak to five.

The Jackets came out in the second with two goals within the first ten minutes.  Antoine Vermette scored on a scramble in front.  Two and a half minutes later, Jason Williams tied it when the puck took a bad hop off the linesmen and through Ham Sandwich’s legs.  The ever-present Vermette picked up the loose puck and came in on a 2-on-none with Williams.  Vermette made a pass to Williams and he put it right through Khabibulin’s legs to knot the score. 

The ‘Hawks re-took the lead with just two and a half minutes left when Patrick Kane made a sweet pass to Martin Havlat.  Havlat made an even sweeter shot that went right over Mason’s shoulder and the ‘Hawks were back on top heading into the final frame. 

After Nikolai Khabibulin made an incredible save on Rafi Torres on a 2-on-1, it looked like it was going to be the ‘Hawks night.  That was until the ‘Hawks missed on several opportunities to clear the zone.  Matt Walker, Cam Barker, Patrick Kane, and Martin Havlat all failed to get the puck outside the blue line and deep inside the Columbus zone. The Jackets made them pay after Brent Seabrook broke his stick.  Jason Chimera saw Rick Nash breaking to the net.  Nash beat Khabibulin between the legs and it was all tied up, again.

The ‘Hawks outshot the Jackets 5-0 in the overtime but couldn’t sneak anything past Mason.  When Fedor Tyutin was called for a penalty with 30 seconds left, the ‘Hawks unleashed a flurry of shots on Mason.  Kane was denied with a slapper from 25 feet out.  Havlat couldn’t sneak the puck under the bar on a cross-ice feed from Kane.  Barker’s slap shot from point was turned away.  Mason was better on each of the saves.

In the shootout, Tyutin beat Khabibulin and that was all the Jackets needed as Mason stopped Toews, Kane, and Bolland. 

The one point the ‘Hawks got from the overtime loss gave them 100 for the first time in seventeen years.  Quite the accomplishment, but it would have tasted better with a victory.

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