COLUMBUS, Ohio – Rick Nash had two goals and an assist to lead Columbus to a 7-1 pre-season victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night but the Blue Jackets lost forward Raffi Torres for six weeks with a shoulder injury.
Kristian Huselius, Fedor Tyutin and Rostislav Klesla each had a goal and two assists for the Blue Jackets (2-3). Christian Backman had a goal and an assist and Torres also scored for Columbus.
Torres injured his shoulder in a fight with Ben Eager late in the second period and did not return. After the game, coach Ken Hitchcock said the gritty forward acquired in an off-season trade with Edmonton separated his shoulder and would miss six weeks.
“Very costly and disappointing,” he said of Torres, just recently cleared to play after coming off major knee surgery and a long rehabilitation.
Petri Kontiola scored midway through the third period for Chicago (3-1).
Pascal Leclaire made 21 saves for Columbus.
The Blue Jackets scored three goals – two on the power play – in a 1:17 span in the second period to take a 3-0 lead.
“Our special teams, our power play gave us life,” Hitchcock said.
All of Columbus’ goals came against Cristobal Huet, a free agent signed to a four-year, US$22.5-million deal in July. Huet, who finished with 15 saves, is the Blackhawks’ new top goalie, likely taking over for Nikolai Khabibulin, who was placed on waivers Monday. Khabibulin is entering the final season of a four-year, $27 million contract.