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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, March 14th (All times Eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (21-2-3) at Columbus Blue Jackets (10-12-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After suffering their first two regulation losses of the season, the Chicago Blackhawks will try to get back in the win column Thursday when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
Chicago had the longest point streak to open a season in NHL history, going 21-0-3 before losing 6-2 Friday night in Colorado. The Blackhawks were dealt another regulation loss Sunday against visiting Edmonton, dropping a 6-5 decision after falling behind 4-0 in the first period.
The good news for Chicago heading into Thursday is the Blackhawks have won 10 straight against the Blue Jackets, including all three meetings in 2013. Columbus has also lost seven straight and 10 of its last 11 home tests against the Blackhawks.
The Blue Jackets' last win in this series came in Chicago on Feb. 18, 2011
Columbus was on a five-game winning streak until losing Tuesday's shootout decision against Vancouver. The Blue Jackets were trying to match the longest win streak in franchise history, but lost 2-1 to the visiting Canucks.
Mason Raymond notched the lone goal of the shootout, but the deciding shot did not come without its share of controversy. Raymond skated in at an angle on the right-wing side, cut into the slot, and did a 180-degree turn -- spraying Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky as he stopped -- before sliding a backhander into the net.
"I have looked at it and I guarantee you that if you ask them (the Canucks), they're going to say it was good," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "To me, it looks a little questionable. It looks like he does take a step backward. It looks like the puck is moving backward."
Mark Letestu scored the only goal for Columbus and Bobrovsky stopped 37 pucks for the Blue Jackets, who did pick up a point for the eighth straight game (5-0-3). Columbus can set the club record for the longest point streak in franchise history if it doesn't lose in regulation Thursday.
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, will try to avoid their first three-game losing streak since Feb. 23-26 of last season when they take the ice in Columbus.
Chicago was down 4-0 after 20 minutes in Sunday's setback, but cut the deficit to 6-4 by the end of two periods. The Blackhawks then scored just over seven minutes into the third period to draw within one, but never managed to get the equalizer.
Patrick Kane scored twice and added an assist in the loss, while Brent Seabrook, Sheldon Brookbank and Marian Hossa each lit the lamp once.
"It was weird after [losing] the first one," Kane admitted. "Now we've got to be careful not to get too down on ourselves, especially after the start we've had."
Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery was lifted after giving up three goals on nine shots in the first frame. Corey Crawford took over between the pipes and stopped 13-of-16 shots in the setback.
The setback was the first in regulation on home ice for Chicago, which is 10-1-2 as the visiting team this season.
The Blue Jackets are 7-4-4 at home.
03/14 10:58:49 ET
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