Blue Jackets look to follow Blackhawks' trend
The Blackhawks just bounced back after the end of a winning streak, and now the Blue Jackets will try to do the same from their own streak-breaking loss when Columbus visits Chicago on Saturday night.
Columbus had won four consecutive games before suffering a 3-0 blanking at the hands of the New York Islanders on Thursday. While the Islanders arguably have the NHL's best defensive team, Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones felt his team's biggest problems were self-inflicted.
"I think for a lot of minutes, we kind of played into their hands for the most part," Jones said. " 1/8We 3/8 tried to do too much and get a little too cute in there instead of putting it behind them and trying to go to work down low where we're successful. We kind of did that to ourselves a little bit."
The Blue Jackets' third shutout loss of the season ended a nice offensive run for the team, which scored 17 goals over its previous four games.
There is an opportunity for the Columbus offense to get back on track against the Blackhawks, who rank at or near the bottom of the league in both goals allowed and shots allowed. Chicago, however, has allowed just 28 goals over its last nine games, a stretch that has seen the Blackhawks go 8-1-0 with 45 goals scored.
After the Blackhawks' seven-game winning streak was ended in a loss to Boston on Tuesday, Chicago rebounded for a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.
As good as the Blackhawks have been lately, Patrick Kane feels his club "can definitely play better" than it did against the Devils, citing a slow start that saw New Jersey jump out to a 2-0 lead.
" 1/8We can 3/8 play with the puck more, play with the attitude that we want the puck up there," Kane said. "We want to make plays, and we want to keep the puck as well. It's a little sloppy out there sometimes but we'll take the two points."
After notching a goal and two assists on Thursday, the scorching-hot Kane now has a 16-game point streak, with 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) going back to Jan. 3 against the New York Islanders.
The Blackhawks have alternated between goaltenders Cam Ward and Collin Delia over their last seven games, with Delia due to start against Columbus if the pattern continues. Ward, however, is 5-0-0 with a .943 save percentage and a 2.17 goals-against average over his last five starts.
Sergei Bobrovsky has started eight of the Blue Jackets' last nine games, which could be interpreted as Columbus showcasing the goalie prior to the trade deadline, or a sign that the team will keep Bobrovsky for a playoff run.
Bobrovsky is probable to play again against Chicago, as backup Joonas Korpisalo (who has less than 59 minutes of ice time since January 19) could see action next week when Columbus plays two sets of back-to-back games.
The Blackhawks have won their last five games on home ice going back to Jan. 20. The Blue Jackets are 17-9-1 on the road this season, although they are just 1-8-1 in their last 10 trips to Chicago.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 15, 2019