Blackhawks-Blue Jackets: Chicago Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive With Shootout Win

Steve JankowskiAnalyst IMarch 31, 2008

The Chicago Blackhawks needed a win to stay alive in the NHL's Western Conference playoff race, and they went to the shootout to claim a 5-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The win brought the Blackhawks to within four points of 8th place Vancouver with three games remaining.  They are 4-1-1 in their last six outings.

Rookie Patrick Kane scored the only goal in the shootout.  He has scored on seven out of nine shootout attempts, and is tied with San Jose's Joe Pavelski for the most shootout goals in the NHL.

Kane's shootout success is a bit of a surprise to him.

"I don't know what it is," Kane said. "Last year, I was 4-for-10 in junior [in shootouts]. It's crazy to think about that. You just develop moves to become successful with. In pressure situations like that, it comes in handy."

The Hawks at one time were down 3-1 early in the second, after Jonathan Toews gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead on a power play in the first period with his 23rd goal of the year.  

Columbus scored two goals late in the first, and added another early in the second before Chicago scored twice later that period to tie it at 3.

Each of Chicago's first three goals were on the power play, which went 3 for 7 on the night.  Chicago's power play had not scored in its previous three games.

"We made some adjustments, just shot pucks more," said Blackhawks coach Denis Savard.

Early in the third, Columbus' Derek MacKenzie deflected home his second goal of the season to give the Blue Jackets a 4-3 lead. 

Ten minutes later, Yanic Perrault pushed the puck over the goal line to tie the game at 4 with about seven minutes left.  The goal was Perrault's ninth on the season.

Despite numerous chances for both teams in overtime, neither team could before the shootout.

Before Kane's heroics in the shootout, he set a franchise record, with his 48th assist on the year.  He assisted on Toews' first period power-play goal.

The assist also was Kane's 66th point this season, tying him for the most among rookies with Niklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals.

Chicago will next host the rival Detroit Red Wings Wednesday night at United Center.

One Timers: The Blackhawks drew 20,885 to the United Center for the game, which was the club's ninth sellout this season ... Head Coach Denis Savard and former winger Steve Larmer had previously held the Blackhawks rookie assist record before Kane broke it ... The Blue Jackets were denied their 35th win on the season, which would have tied a franchise record ... The teams split the eight game season series.