By Dave Holstein
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) — Captain Jonathan Toews scored the
lone goal of the shootout and Cristobal Huet shined in goal as
the Chicago Blackhawks notched their first win of the season in
the bonus format Saturday, a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue
Huet turned aside 48 shots before denying Kristian Huselius,
captain Rick Nash and Jakub Voracek in the shootout to lift the
Blackhawks to their second straight triumph.
“I think we have gone to a shootout with every team in our
division, so for us to get those two points, it’s big for us to
come in here and steal one on the road,” Toews said. “I think
when you start winning, you get one or two wins on the road and
it builds your confidence.”
Patrick Sharp registered his seventh goal of the season while
defenseman Brent Seabrook and Martin Havlat scored power-play
tallies for Chicago. Kris Versteeg and blue-liner Duncan Keith
notched two assists apiece.
The Blue Jackets received a power-play goal from R.J. Umberger
and key third-period tallies from defenseman Fedor Tyutin and
“I think they are a team that throws the puck to the net,” Huet
said. “I think we worked really hard. We still made a few
mistakes, but overall, we corrected them throughout the game.
We did a good job to contain them.
“We needed that road win desperately. We wanted to get one as
soon as possible, and the guys were very much ready to get that
After Huselius was stopped by Huet in the first round of the
shootout, Toews beat goaltender Fredrik Norrena with a quick
wrist shot. Huet followed with impressive saves on Nash’s
backhanded attempt and Voracek’s snap shot to secure the
“I know Nash is coming with speed, and he likes going to his
backhand. He made a few moves, but I didn’t bite too much,”
Huet said of the save on the former Maurice Richard Trophy
winner. “You never know what to expect from those guys. They
are pretty high-skilled guys.”
Chicago opened the scoring when Sharp scored off his own rebound
with 6:15 left in the first period.
Umberger forged a tie with the man advantage 2 1/2 minutes
later, netting his first goal as a Blue Jacket when he
redirected a pass from Voracek while standing at the top of the
“We got outworked on the special teams tonight. That’s a big
factor,” Umberger said. “You’ll run into goalies that play well
like that, but (the) penalty kill has to be better. And on the
power play, we had our chances and we didn’t score, so that’s
the difference in the game.”
Columbus had almost five consecutive minutes of power-play time
in the second but registered only five shots on goal and failed
“That was definitely a goalie win tonight,” Chicago coach Joel
Quenneville said. “(Huet) was great and we battled back there.
I felt like (Huet) was the story of the night, and I felt that
(Toews) has been great in shootouts. We found a way to win.”
Chicago went on the man advantage when Columbus’ chances expired
and scored on its first shot when Seabrook fired a one-timer
from the top of the left faceoff circle past Norrena with 1:55
left in the session.
Columbus finished 1-for-10 on the power play, while Chicago went
2-for-4. Despite such shortcomings, Umberger felt there were
plenty of positives.
“Especially to a division opponent, you know they played last
night, so you’ve got to think that we would’ve had the jump out
there and dictate the game,” Umberger said. “We didn’t quit.
That shows a lot from our team. We’ve done that the last couple
“I think we’re close to putting this together, where we’re going
to go on a (winning) stretch here, you know. I’ve got a good
feeling about this team.”
Tyutin helped the Blue Jackets tie the game early in the third
with a shorthanded goal, but Havlat struck just 33 seconds later
on the same power play to reclaim the lead for the Blackhawks.
“We overwhelmed them for most of the game, but we lost the
special-teams game,” Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. “They
scored two and we scored one, and that’s the story of the game.
Then they won the shootout special teams, too.”
Columbus pulled even again at 3-3 when Huselius skated between
the faceoff circles and beat Huet with a wrist shot with 7:52
remaining in the period.
The Blue Jackets have dropped four of their last five, all by
two goals or less.
“You don’t want to waste efforts like tonight,” Hitchcock said.
“This is now five games in a row that we’ve had a great effort.
We have three points to show for it, and that’s the frustrating
part. We’ve not been rewarded for our efforts.”