Blackhawks shuffle lines, beat Blue Jackets 6-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 6, 2014 at 11:30 pm •  Published: March 6, 2014
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CHICAGO (AP) — Andrew Shaw stopped a long scoring drought. Jonathan Toews had another big game. The Chicago Blackhawks had 13 players with at least one point.

Yup, those line changes worked out pretty well for the Stanley Cup champions.

Shaw and Toews had two goals apiece, and the Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-1 on Thursday night to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race.

"I think all the lines had some chemistry tonight," Shaw said. "It was a big win for us."

Brandon Bollig and Bryan Bickell also scored as Chicago bounced back from a 4-2 home loss to Colorado on Tuesday night. Corey Crawford made 22 saves for his 10th consecutive victory against Columbus.

With St. Louis and Colorado also winning, the Blackhawks remained two points back of the Blues for the Central Division lead and one point ahead of the Avalanche.

"We're motivated to build ourselves into the team we want to be come playoff time, but that adds to it to keep us honest, to make sure we're competing the right way every night," Toews said, highlighting the bunched standings out West.

Ryan Johansen scored his 25th goal for the Blue Jackets, who had won three in a row. Sergei Bobrovsky made 14 stops before he was pulled during the Blackhawks' three-goal second period.

"We weren't emotionally into the game," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "The intensity wasn't there. I thought we lacked intensity. It wasn't everyone. We had some guys that wanted to get involved, but there were too many guys who weren't involved in the game."

The Blackhawks had managed just eight goals while dropping three of four, and five of those came against Pittsburgh at Soldier Field on Saturday. That prompted coach Joel Quenneville to shuffle his lines, putting Shaw with Toews and Brandon Saad in the top group and moving Patrick Sharp to the second line with Michal Handzus and Patrick Kane.

It worked.

After Johansen took advantage of a bad line change to tie it at 1 at 7:56 of the first, it was all Blackhawks. They outshot the Blue Jackets 33-23 for the game and lead the NHL with 221 goals.

"Jonny's line had the big night, with several offensive zone shifts, some real nice plays and some nice (finishes) as well," Quenneville said.

Shaw said it was his first time playing on the same line with Toews since his first NHL game on Jan. 5, 2012, at Philadelphia. Shaw also scored in that one, with Toews picking up an assist.