Blackhawks search for fifth straight win vs. Columbus

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Looking ahead, both the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets keep fighting in the present.

The visiting Blackhawks expect a fifth straight win over the fighting Blue Jackets on Monday night.

Both clubs are outside the Central Division’s top four playoff spots, but Chicago is in fifth place, just two points behind fourth in Nashville. The Blue Jackets in seventh place are five points behind the Blackhawks.

Looking ahead to this season, Columbus has already traded coveted defenseman David Savard and center Riley Nash for draft picks, and it’s still possible Nick Foligno will trade before the Monday deadline.

Chicago recently sent Lucas Carlsson and Lucas Wallmark to Florida in exchange for three players and could also move strikers like Mattias Janmark.

On the ice, the Blackhawks overcame an early 2-0 hole and won 4-3 in Columbus on Saturday night. On Monday they want to win consecutive games for the first time since March 23rd and 25th. Alex DeBrincat had a goal with an assist Monday, and rookie Kevin Lankinen regrouped after scoring two goals in the first 3:13 of the competition to make 23 saves.

“I like the way we reacted after the decline, but there is a lot to do. No question about it,” said Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton, whose Columbus club have won five straight wins since the 2018/19 season .

DeBrincat has scored five of their 21 goals and scored seven points in their last seven games. He has three goals with five assists in five games against Columbus this season. Teammate Patrick Kane, meanwhile, has scored four goals with ten assists, while Chicago won five out of seven from the Blue Jackets in 2021.

Lankinen has won two of his last three starts and is 4-2 against Columbus despite scoring 3.14 goals against the average. Backup Malcolm Subban had his only end of the season with 26 saves on February 25 with a 2-0 win in Columbus.

The Blue Jackets’ Cam Atkinson scored his 14th goal on Saturday when his team fell 2-8-1 in their last 11 games. Atkinson has four goals with six assists in seven games against Chicago that year.

With three points in three games, Atkinson continues to climb while fellow contributors Zach Werenski and Boone Jenner are injured and others are either scratched or already traded. However, he realizes that it is partly his responsibility to make sure that the leads don’t escape the club, as they did on Saturday.

“The only thing we can control is our work ethic,” said Atkinson. “I think we got away from that (after the early part of Saturday’s game) and it showed. It’s up to us to lead.”

Elvis Merzlikins made 24 saves when he lost his fourth start in a row. He has scored seven goals when he lost both starts against Chicago this season. Teammate Joonas Korpisalo is 2-1-2 against the Blackhawks with a GAA of 2.95.

– Field level media

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