“Hello Playoffs!” said the Columbus Blue Jackets after they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 4 to 3 in a shootout. The 21,536 at United Center witnessed the NHL team from Ohio clinch a playoff berth for the first time in franchise history.
After the game, Columbus captain Rick Nash said, “To get that one point was huge, to come back after being down 2-0. To get the win was even more important. We’re going to try to win these last two games to keep our position in the standings. I don’t know if it’s quite sunk in yet. We’re so used to playing out the season.”
Brent Seabrook and Dave Bolland scored goals to give Chicago a lead of two heading into period two. However, Antoine Vermette and Jason Williams scored goals of their own to tie the game at 2. Martin Havlat broke the tie by scoring his 29th goal of the year shortly before the end of the period. After the 2nd period, Chicago led 3 to 2.
Rick Nash’s 39th goal of the year tied the game at three with 5:30 left in period three. 330 seconds later, the Blue Jackets had earned their ticket to the postseason.
Fedor Tyutin scored the only goal in the shootout to give Columbus an extra point. Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason was 3-for-3 in the shootout as Columbus improved to 41-29-10 on the season.