Viktor Stalberg scored the only goal of the shootout after the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets played to a 3-3 draw through overtime in Columbus, giving the Blackhawks a 4-3 win and keeping them in eighth place in the Western Conference.
The Blackhawks’ 92 points now leads the Flames and Stars by five. Calgary, at this writing, trails St. Louis in the second period and if they lose, they’ll have only three games remaining and will be virtually eliminated from playoff contention. With 92 points, the Hawks pull to within one point of the idle Ducks in seventh place and within two points of the Predators and Kings. But the Blackhawks have a tough remaining schedule with all but one game against playoff teams, and they barely beat a noncontender tonight.
Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead in the first period, but Columbus came back with three unanswered goals before Bryan Bickell tied it up with 5:03 left in regulation. Corey Crawford made 31 saves for the Blackhawks, who will play the Tampa Bay Lightning at the United Center on Sunday night.