The Chicago Blackhawks welcomed the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets to the United Center on Friday night for a Festivus matchup. The Blackhawks jumped out to a 4–0 lead before the Jackets had six shots on goal. Columbus finally woke up and tried to make a game of it, but the Chicago lead was just too much to overcome.
🏒 Alex Stalock returned to the Chicago lineup and played well. Not only did he stop 27 of 29 shots, but he should have had an assist on Taylor Raddysh’s early second-period goal. Stalock sent an outlet pass up the middle of the ice to Philipp Kurashev, which quickly went to Jonathan Toews and finally Raddysh, who beat Columbus goaltender Daniil Tarasov. Stalock is unconventional but entertaining and seems to get good results from his teammates in front of him.
🏒 The Blackhawks’ goals were from Patrick Kane, Max Domi, Andreas Athanasiou, Raddysh and Toews. Kane was on a bit of a bender and had not scored since Dec. 3 against the New York Rangers. He led the Blackhawks with seven shots on net and also had two assists to join Toews with three points apiece.
🏒 Rookie defenseman Issac Phillips and Connor Murphy each had a plus-two on the night, which is promising for the future of the Blackhawks’ depth defenders.
🏒 A win is a win, but the Blackhawks ran out of steam early in the second period and were heavily outplayed. They got themselves back together for the third period, though, and rode that out for the win.
🏒 Former Blue Jackets Max Domi (one goal, one assist) and Seth Jones had two and zero points, respectively, while former Blackhawks defenseman Adam Boqvist returned to the lineup after a 24-game injury hiatus to play 20:09 (3:56 on the power play) with two shots on net.
The Blackhawks will take a few days off to enjoy the holiday and then head to Carolina to face the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. Puck drop is at 6 p.m. CST.