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Huet has shutout, Blackhawks beat Blue Jackets 3-0 to end 2-game losing streak

CHICAGO - Cristobal Huet made sure the Chicago Blackhawks got a strong sendoff before a gruelling eight-game trip.

After giving up four third-period goals in his previous start, Huet posted his fourth shutout of the season Thursday night and the Blackhawks ended their two-game losing streak with a 3-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"You always want to bounce back," Huet said.

"It's something we talked about before the game. We wanted to get something positive before going on the road. ... You want to step up when you don't play well or lose a couple of games."

Brian Campbell, Dustin Byfuglien and Duncan Keith scored for Chicago, which avoided its first three-game losing streak of the season.

Huet, whose shaky final period against Minnesota on Saturday night helped the Wild overcome a 5-1 lead en route to a shootout victory, had 24 saves Thursday night. It was his 24th career shutout.

"He was sharp, looked like he was in charge," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "He really challenged well and his rebound control was in order. He had a couple of key saves."

The Blackhawks got going quickly, thanks to Campbell. Kris Versteeg raced down the left side and as he reached the circle made a nice pass to the trailing Campbell, who scored from the right circle just 61 seconds into the game.

"Anytime you can score first or score early your chances I'm sure are better. We kept on it," Campbell said. "Sometimes we've scored and laid back a little bit like we did in Minnesota and got too fancy. We got pucks in when we needed to."

Huet blocked a hard slapper from Fedor Tyutin and then a second later snuffed a rebound attempt by Kristian Huselius to foil a second-period power play.

"He made some nice saves when he needed to; we were right there," Blue Jackets star Rick Nash said. "If we get a goal it's 1-1 and it's a different game. ... I thought we had a chance late in the second with that power play. If we score there, it's a totally different game."

After Huet's save, Mathieu Garon stopped Byfuglien from in front after he took a nifty pass from Patrick Kane.

But minutes later, Byfuglien took a nice lead pass from John Madden, wound up from the left circle for a slap shot and sent it sailing past Garon for a 2-0 lead at 16:40 of the second.

Keith got a pass from Patrick Sharp and his quick release shot went high past Garon for the final goal in the third. Garon had 33 saves.

"They were coming really strong," Garon said. "It seems from my part like every shot was a good scoring chance and they didn't waste too many. All the shots they took, they could have scored. ... With the 1-0 lead they didn't seem that comfortable, but as soon as they got the second goal, they had more confidence."

Now Chicago starts its long trip with a rematch in Columbus on Saturday night, a swing that will take the Blackhawks from the Midwest to the West Coast and then to the East Coast.

"You don't want to go on an extended trip like that with three straight losses," Quenneville said. "I think it was important we got a little confidence and momentum when we leave here. It's going to be a really challenging trip."

NOTES: The crowd of 21,884 was a season high at the United Center. Chicago doesn't play at home again until Feb. 3. ... Chicago has eight shutouts this season, including four by backup goalie Antti Niemi. ... Blackhawks wing Marian Hossa returned after missing the previous game with a groin injury. ... Blue Jackets RW Derek Dorsett, activated off the injured list (hand) Tuesday, returned to action. Dorsett missed 15 games after being injured against Anaheim on Dec. 12 and did not play Tuesday night against St. Louis. D Kris Russell also returned after being out two games with a groin injury. ... Chicago D Cam Barker missed his fifth straight game because of an upper-body injury.


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