After Alex DeBrincat got Chicago the win in a shootout on Tuesday night, the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets will square off again in Columbus on Thursday. This will be the sixth meeting between the two squads this year. Chicago currently holds the series advantage with three wins and two losses.
Chicago Looks to Gain Ground in Season SeriesThe Blackhawks are playing excellent hockey so far this year, and currently stand in third place in the Central Division standings with 24 points, just behind Florida and Carolina, who are among the best in the League to this point. Much of this success, especially lately, has come due to MVP-caliber play from Patrick Kane. They've won four of their past five, including their last two outings against Columbus, and Kane has now scored eight points in three games, for 30 on the season (9 goals, 21 assists).
Alex DeBrincat has played solidly as well, and has 19 points of his own (9 goals, 10 assists). The Blackhawks average 3.00 goals per game, and allow 2.95. They've found themselves in overtime far too many times this year, having gone past regulation eight times, winning four of them. This is despite some solid play in goal, Kevin Lankinen has a 8-3-3 record with a 92.128 save percentage and 2.59 GAA. Malcolm Subban has been equally impressive with 91.667% and 2.65.
They lead the league in power play percentage at 33%, but rank 21st in the league for penalty kill at 76.6%.
Columbus Looking to Climb Conference StandingsColumbus is looking to even the season series and take a step up in the Central standings after a tough loss. They finished the first period down 2-1, but were able to bounce back to eventually drive the game to overtime, where they lost in a shootout. Recent acquisition Patrik Laine scored two goals and added an assist, while tenured Blue Jacket Cam Atkinson added a goal and an assist of his own.
Atkinson leads the team in points with 16 (eight goals and eight assists), but Laine will likely catch up after missing several games to quarantine after his trade from Winnipeg.
The Blue Jackets' success comes in spite of their goal differential, they've allowed nine more goals than they've scored, but this comes down to several big losses to Carolina and Dallas, and a series of one-goal wins and losses. They do well on the penalty kill at 71.7%, but are quite pedestrian on the power play at 20%.
Z comments on Laine's wrister and getting back to game-action. pic.twitter.com/r8SsqGRQj9— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) February 24, 2021
Blackhawks are 5-1 in their last 6 road games.
Blackhawks are 5-1 in their last 6 road games. Blackhawks are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. a team with a losing record.