Viktor Stalberg of the Chicago Blackhawks beats goaltender Steve Mason of the Blue Jackets for the first goal of the game on Friday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Blackhawks Take Early 2-0 Lead, Coast To 5-2 Win Over Blue Jackets

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Patrick Sharp Scores Twice In Two Minutes In Second Period In Blackhawks' 5-2 Win

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Patrick Sharp scored twice and Marty Turco made 30 saves, as the Chicago Blackhawks took a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky each had a goal and assist for the Blackhawks, who had lost three of four to start the season.

R.J. Umberger scored his 100th career goal, but Steve Mason allowed five goals on 40 shots as Columbus lost in its home opener. The Blue Jackets began the season by splitting a two-game series against San Jose in Stockholm, Sweden.

Chicago took control by scoring two goals in quick succession in the first period.

Nearing the mid-point of the period, Viktor Stalberg got the puck in the middle of the ice and raced toward the Columbus net. He split two defenders, pushed the puck ahead and sent a leaning forehand past Mason at 9:37.

Just more than a minute later, Hossa tallied his fourth goal of the season for a 2-0 lead.

Columbus got one of those scores back early in the second period while short- handed. Umberger crashed the net with the puck, which Turco blocked to the right of the goal. But the puck bounced off the end boards to Umberger, who centered a backhand shot that appeared to carom off Turco across the goal line at 1:11.

But the Blackhawks countered with their own shorthanded tally, as Sharp fired a snap shot from the left circle past Mason at 9:46. Sharp made it back-to- back goals two minutes later for a 4-1 lead.

Kopecky's backhander only 15 seconds into the third period gave Chicago plenty of cushion. Kristian Huselius completed the scoring with a little more than six minutes left on a tip-in goal.

Game Notes

Chicago played without Patrick Kane, who sat because of an illness...Huselius netted his third goal of the year...Turco faced 32 shots...On Saturday, Chicago hosts Buffalo, while Columbus plays at Minnesota.


Jassen Cullimore Recalled By Blackhawks From Rockford

With Patrick Kane expected to miss tonight’s game, the Hawks have recalled veteran Jassen Cullimore from Rockford.

Cullimore has played in 776 NHL regular-season games with the Vancouver Canucks (1994-96), Montreal Canadiens, (1996-98), Tampa Bay Lightning (1998-2004), Blackhawks (2005-07) and Florida Panthers (2007-09).

He’ll be in uniform for tonight’s game in Columbus.


Blackhawks Visit Blue Jackets Friday Night In Columbus

(Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks will aim for their second win of the season tonight, when the defending Stanley Cup champions visit the well-rested Columbus Blue Jackets in the home opener at Nationwide Arena.

The Blackhawks are 1-2-1 to start the year and are coming off a 3-2 regulation loss against Nashville on Wednesday. All four of Chicago's games this year have been decided by just one goal and the difference against the Predators was Joel Ward's tally with just 27 seconds remaining in regulation.

Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist and Patrick Kane scored the other goal for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford stopped 24 shots in the loss.

With the score tied, Nick Boynton was called for delay of game with 2:13 to play after he flipped the puck over the glass. Nashville took the lead in the final moments of the advantage as J.P. Dumont sent the puck from the right to the left for Ward's tap in to the open net, and the team skated out with the win.

"Each game that we've lost there's been that one bad goal we've let in that has cost us the game," said Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville.

Chicago played Wednesday without defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, who was serving the first portion of a two-game suspension for a vicious hit on Buffalo's Jason Pominville. Hjalmarsson will be eligible to return Saturday when Chicago hosts Pominville's Sabres. However, Pominville won't be on the ice as he is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion suffered when Hjalmarsson slammed him into the boards on Monday.

Crawford will not get the straight start in net for Chicago tonight as Quenneville has opted to go back to Marty Turco. Turco, who was signed in the offseason to a one-year deal, entered the year as the Blackhawks presumptive No. 1 netminder, but has so far yielded seven goals in two outings.

The Blue Jackets have been off since Saturday, when they completed a two-game series against San Jose in Stockholm, Sweden. Columbus earned a split at the Ericsson Globe with an OT victory in Saturday's finale as Ethan Moreau scored at 1:56 of the extra session.

Sharks forward Dany Heatley committed a turnover along the blue line in his offensive zone, and the puck was picked up by Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin. He dished ahead on a cross ice pass from the right to left, where Moreau streaked in and hit the net high and inside the right post.

"Well, I was aiming for the right side, but I wasn't expecting (Sharks goaltender Antero) Niittymaki to come out that much," said Moreau on the situation just prior to his shot. "It had a lot of speed on it, but it was just feathered into the right spot."

Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius tallied for the Blue Jackets. Steve Mason stopped 33-of-35 shots for the win, his first of the season. Mason is expected to start again tonight, while backup netminder Mathieu Garon could get the call Saturday in Minnesota.

Forwards Jared Boll (back) missed Saturday's game for Columbus and is questionable for tonight's tilt.

The Blue Jackets were 20-12-9 as the host last year and is 5-2-1 with a tie in home openers all-time.

Chicago won four of six meetings with the Blue Jackets last year and has taken eight of 13 overall in the series. The Blackhawks have also taken four of six and six of their last nine games in Columbus.

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