CHICAGO (AP) -- The Columbus Blue Jackets didn't panic after
falling behind by two goals early in the game.
Jaroslav Balastik, Manny Malhotra and Duvie Westcott also scored
as the Blue Jackets went 3-for-8 on the power play and spoiled
Chicago's home opener before a crowd of 17,133. Pascal Leclaire
stopped 18 shots.
"A couple of years ago were could have gotten down by two
goals, just gone home and kind of shut it down," Nash said. "But
with our new team now, we're not getting down and just kind of keep
on going. We were lucky enough that things turned our way."
Leclaire, who stopped 41 of 44 shots in a 3-2 overtime loss at
home to Vancouver on Friday, said he and his teammates kept their
focus against Chicago.
"We stuck to our game plan and it worked tonight," Leclaire
said. "We played very solid. When you give up only about 20 shots,
you're playing well defensively.
"It was a dirty, ugly win, but we found a way to get the two
Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin had 19 saves, but has allowed 11
goals in his first two starts. The Blackhawks won 8-6 at Nashville
on Thursday night.
Chicago coach Trent Yawney wasn't critical of his goalie, but
ripped the rest of his team following the loss.
"He's going to see guys in his crease in his sleep," Yawney
said. "It's very difficult to play disciplined hockey without
self-disciplined people. Try it. It doesn't work."
After grabbing a 2-0 lead, the Blackhawks were sloppy for about
the next 30 minutes, taking penalties and committing turnovers that
helped enable Columbus' comeback.
"We deserved our fate," Havlat said.
Chicago was outshot 13-3 in the first period, but scored on its
first two attempts.
Aucoin opened the scoring at 5:31 when Radim Vrbata's centering
pass deflected in off Aucoin's skate. The goal withstood a video
review. Hamilton then had a power-play goal through a screen from
the right point at 7:16.
The Blue Jackets responded with two power-play goals late in the
first to tie the score 2-all. Nash cut it to 2-1 with 5:01
remaining, knocking in a rebound from the left side of the net.
Balastik tied it with 2:37 to go, converting a rebound of Anders
Eriksson's shot from the point.
Malhotra made it 3-2 with 9:11 left in the second with Columbus'
third straight power-play goal.
Following Duncan Keith's turnover, Nash took a pass from David
Vyborny, broke in alone and beat Khabibulin 55 seconds later.
Westcott made it 5-2 with 6:27 left in the period, banking in a
shot off Khabibulin's pads from the side of the net.
Sharp's power-play goal with 4:19 left in the third cut
Chicago's deficit it to 5-3. Havlat fired in a loose puck from the
side of the net with 3:56 remaining to pull the Blackhawks within
Havlat has three goals and three assists in his first two
games with the Blackhawks. ... Out with long-term injuries for
Chicago are G Patrick Lalime (back surgery, three monnths), F Tuomo
Ruutu (sprained knee, four weeks) and D Cam Barker (ankle surgery,
four to six weeks) ... D Bryan Berard (back) and F Sergei Fedorov
(shoulder, four to six weeks) are long-term injuries for Columbus.
... Blue Jackets D Rotislav Klesla served the second game of a
two-game suspension for clipping Ruutu in an exhibition game at
Columbus on Sept. 22. ... Hamilton's goal was his first with the
Blackhawks and third of his career. Formerly in the New York
Islanders' organization, Hamilton was signed by Chicago as a free
agent on Sept. 29 after a strong training camp.