No matter how the Chicago Blackhawks look like as a team, their home-ice advantage is second-to-few.
In a tight game with each team playing fairly undisciplined hockey, the Columbus Blue Jackets (3-3-1) were defeated by the Blackhawks (2-2-1) by a score of 3-2 in overtime on Friday night.
At the start of the contest, it was all Columbus. The Blue Jackets peppered 10 shot attempts in less than four minutes and saw Chicago goaltender Robin Lehner stand tall throughout.
The Blackhawks, on the other hand, had just one shot until the 8:00 minute mark. Their fifth shot on net by Drake Caggiula, which came with less than four minutes remaining in the period, was the first of the night to beat Elvis Merzlikins, who had 30 saves on the evening, and put Chicago up 1-0.
After killing off a 5-on-3 penalty at the end of the first frame and into the second, the Blue Jackets sat on their heels a bit. An eventual big save by Merzlikins on Patrick Kane gave some life to Columbus, and minutes later, Pierre-Luc Dubois added to his team-leading three goals to tie the game at one.
Dubois' 50th of his career at 5:33 remained the last goal on the scoreboard throughout the rest of the second period, and though both teams had their fair share of power play opportunities, neither could break the tie. Even a man-advantage thanks to a hit-to-the-head by the notorious Andrew Shaw saw no dice from Columbus, who is now 3/23 on the power play this season.
The game was wide open to start the third period, and Markus Nutivaara, who has all of a sudden become incredibly accustomed to scoring, notched his second in three games to put Columbus 2-1. Nutivaara scored just five goals all of last season.
After the third penalty of the game was then taken by the Blue Jackets, it was only a matter of time. After killing off ten-straight penalties, the Blue Jackets allowed the Blackhawks to crack them and tie the score by the hand of Alex DeBrincat at the 8:08 mark.
Both clubs traded additional power play opportunities as the game winded down, but neither team could convert, sending the contest to overtime.
In overtime, the man was Jonathan Toews, who saw a Kane shot redirect off his pad to give Chicago the win.
No injuries to report. Josh Anderson remains on the injured reserve due to an upper-body injury.
The Blue Jackets return home on Saturday night to take on the New York Islanders at Nationwide Arena at 7 p.m.
Follow 1st Ohio Battery