Preview: Chicago at Columbus

When: 7:00 PM  ET, Saturday, April 9, 2016
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Matchup Edge
CHI Edge in: CLB
Offense
Defense
Power Play
Penalty Kill
Face Offs
Discipline
Goaltending


Corey Crawford will make his return to the crease for the first time in 3 1/2 weeks on Saturday as the Chicago Blackhawks visit the Columbus Blue Jackets in the season finale for both teams. Crawford was in the midst of a career season with a personal-best 35 wins and league-high seven shutouts before being sidelined with an upper-body injury on March 14.

"The little details go away a bit the longer you miss, but who knows?" Crawford told the Chicago Tribune of his comfort level in net. "Practices have been pretty hard, pretty intense, technical stuff with (goaltending coach Jimmy Waite) I've been working on. It feels good." If all goes well in Saturday's contest, Crawford likely will start the third-place Blackhawks' first-round series against either St. Louis or Dallas as the latter two clubs battle for the Central Division title. Columbus' postseason aspirations were dashed long ago, but the Blue Jackets posted their second straight win and third in four contests with a 4-1 victory over Buffalo on Friday.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), FSN Ohio (Columbus)

ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (47-26-8): Captain Jonathan Toews extended his goal-scoring streak to three games and point run to six (three goals, five assists) in Thursday's 2-1 overtime loss to St. Louis. Toews has tormented the Blue Jackets with 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) in as many career meetings, including an assist in Chicago's 4-1 victory on Oct. 17. Veteran Marian Hossa and fellow forward Artem Anisimov scored in that contest, but both are nursing respective lower- and upper-body injuries and joined Andrew Shaw (upper body) in failing to make the trip to Ohio.

ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (33-40-8): Former Blackhawk Brandon Saad, who was acquired in a blockbuster seven-player deal last summer, scored his career-high 30th goal during the third period of Friday's tilt. Linemate Oliver Bjorkstrand notched an assist on the tally to extend his point streak to four games. Bjorkstrand, however, joined Josh Anderson in being assigned to the minors to suit up for Lake Erie of the American Hockey League when it faces Rochester.

OVERTIME

1. Chicago RW Patrick Kane has recorded five goals and four assists during his four-game point streak and also scored in the first meeting with Columbus.

2. Blue Jackets minor league F Brett Gallant collapsed on the bench of Friday's contest in Toronto, but Lake Erie later tweeted that the 27-year-old was "alert and conscious."

3. The Blackhawks have killed off all 19 short-handed situations in their last seven games.

PREDICTION: Blue Jackets 3, Blackhawks 2

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Chicago 47-26-6-2 L1 26-11-3-1 21-15-3-1 6-1-0-0 41-25-6-2 13-12-2-2
Columbus 33-40-4-4 W2 17-17-4-2 16-23-0-2 1-4-0-0 32-36-4-4 11-16-2-1

Last Meeting

Chicago Columbus
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
10/17/15 CLB 1 CHI 4 30 22 2-5 23 26 0-2

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
CHI M. Hossa 2
CLB J. Johnson 1
Goals Player  
CHI A. Anisimov 1
CLB J. Johnson 1
Assists Player  
CHI A. Panarin 2
CLB D. Savard 1
Saves Player  
CHI C. Crawford 22
CLB C. McElhinney 26
Season
Total Points Player  
CHI P. Kane 103
CLB C. Atkinson 52
Goals Player  
CHI P. Kane 44
CLB B. Jenner 30
Assists Player  
CHI P. Kane 59
CLB B. Dubinsky 31
Saves Player  
CHI C. Crawford 1567
CLB S. Bobrovsky 930

Quickchart Matchup

Chicago Off vs  Columbus Def
2.84 GF
3.01 GA
30.5 Shots
31.2 Shots
56 PP
52 PK
Columbus Off vs  Chicago Def
2.57 GF
2.49 GA
29.2 Shots
30.9 Shots
42 PP
45 PK

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Chicago Overall Columbus
47-26-6-2 W/L 33-40-4-4
35-46 ATS 44-37
29-32 O/U 40-36
2.84 Goals For 2.57
2.49 Goals Agnst 3.01
Chicago A/H Columbus
21-15-3-1 W/L 17-17-4-2
15-25 ATS 20-20
18-13 O/U 21-17
2.75 Goals For 2.75
2.98 Goals Agnst 3.05
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