NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Thursday, October 16th
(All times eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (1-2-0-0) at Columbus Blue Jackets (2-1-0-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Columbus Blue Jackets seek their third straight victory
tonight when they welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to Nationwide Arena.
After a season-opening loss to Atlanta, the Jackets have responded with
consecutive home wins over the Rangers and Canucks. Rick Nash scored to snap a
third-period tie and Todd Marchant had a goal and two assists to lead them
to a 3-2 victory over Vancouver on Monday.
David Vyborny also scored for Columbus, while Marc Denis made 27 saves. This
is the fastest the Blue Jackets have won two games in their four years. Last
season it took them five games, after going 14 the year before and 10 contests
in their inaugural campaign.
Nash scored his second goal of the young season as he tries to build upon his
rookie showing. The top pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, he was a finalist
for the Calder Trophy after netting 17 goals in 74 games a season ago.
On the injury front, Columbus will be without rugged forward Tyler Wright, who
suffered a hyperextended elbow on Monday. Wright is expected to be on the
shelf for three weeks.
The Blue Jackets will visit Nashville on Saturday.
Chicago, meanwhile, has dropped its last two tilts after a promising season-
opening victory over Minnesota. On Sunday, winger Trent Klatt collected two
goals to lead Los Angeles over Chicago, 4-2, at the United Center. Mark Bell
and Kyle Calder each scored power-play goals for the Blackhawks, while Jocelyn
Thibault made 22 saves in defeat.
Through three contests, Chicago has been outscored by a combined 9-3 margin.
The bad news continued in the days after the loss, as it was learned that
forward Alexei Zhamnov will undergo back surgery today. The team captain is
slated to be re-evaluated in six weeks.
The Hawks will open a brief road trip tonight before visiting Atlanta on
Chicago went 3-2 against Columbus last season, but the home team is 8-1-2 in
the last 11 meetings. The Blackhawks are 1-4-1 in their last six trips to
10/16 10:13:18 ET