Columbus at Chicago

Blue Jackets earn first playoff berth in franchise history


CHICAGO -- Rick Nash put Columbus in the playoffs for the first time, and Fedor Tyutin capped the Blue Jackets' big night with the shootout winner.

After Nash scored a late goal to force overtime and give the Blue Jackets the final point they need to clinch a playoff spot, Tyutin scored the lone goal in the shootout in Columbus' 4-3 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.

Columbus, which entered the NHL in 2000-01, was the only active team that hadn't made the playoffs. Against Chicago, the Blue Jackets overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits.

Nash scored his 39th goal with 5:30 left in regulation to tie it at 3 and set up overtime. Antoine Vermette also scored and assisted on Jason Williams' goal in regulation.

The Blue Jackets earned the one point they needed to qualify for the playoffs by reaching overtime.

"To get that one point was huge, to come back after being down 2-0," Nash said. "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."

For the Blue Jackets, the milestone had additional meaning. John H. McConnell, the Blue Jackets' founder and majority owner, died in April 2008 at age 84.

"It's great," Nash said. "We did it for ourselves, but most of all we did it for Mr. Mac. We know he's up there watching. I'm sure he's sitting in his chair and has a cigar in his mouth."

"I'm proud of the guys," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I wasn't happy about the first period. I thought we were light on the puck. In the second and third period we came back and managed the play."

After Nash tied it with what Hitchcock called "the biggest goal in the history of the franchise," Hitchcock called on an unlikely shooter Tyutin as his second in the shootout. Nash had hit the post on Columbus' first attempt.

"We've seen him in practice," Hitchcock said. "He's got three or four moves. I just felt like we needed to change things up."

Brent Seabrook, Dave Bolland and Martin Havlat scored in regulation for the Blackhawks, whose four-game winning streak ended.

Chicago needs one point to clinch the fourth seed in the Western Conference and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Blackhawks will make their first postseason appearance since 2002 and only their second in 11 seasons.

"It would have been nice to get both points tonight," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "We definitely left a valuable point on the table. I think we started well, but Columbus is a desperate team that fought back hard."

Chicago will close the regular season with a home-and-home series against Detroit.

"We haven't accomplished anything yet," Quenneville said. "We haven't reached out final goal, our final destination. That's home ice."

Columbus goalie Steve Mason made 24 saves. Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 19 saves in his fifth consecutive start and the 10th in the last 11 games.

Chicago led 2-0 after the first period.

Khabibulin made a blocker save on Nash's penalty shot 8:59 in to keep it scoreless. Nash was awarded the attempt after being hooked from behind by Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith on a breakaway.

Seabrook opened the scoring with a power-play breakaway with 6:12 left in the first. The goal ended Chicago's 0-for-23 slump with the man advantage.

After serving an interference call, Seabrook sprinted from the penalty box to center ice. He took a long pass from Brian Campbell, skated in alone and beat Mason with a low shot between the pads.

Bolland was credited with a goal with 21 seconds left in the period.

After taking Kris Versteeg's pass on a 2-on-1 break, Bolland skated wide to the right side of the net as Mason came out to challenge. Bolland's centering pass drifted behind Mason and into the slot, then was knocked into the net by Nash sliding on the ice as he tried to catch up with the play.

Vermette and Williams scored 2:23 apart early in the second to tie it.

After Khabibulin had made saves on Raffi Torres and Nash, Vermette converted a second rebound at 5:37 to cut it to 2-1. Williams tied it, finishing a 2-on-none break with Vermette.

Havlat restored Chicago's lead at 3-2 with 2:17 left in the second on a rising shot from the right circle that ticked in off the left post. Patrick Kane's centering pass from below the goal line set him up.

Nash tied it at 3 with 5:30 left in the third when he slipped in alone from the left side of the net and beat Khabibulin with a backhander. Chicago outshot Columbus 5-0 in overtime. Mason made two close-in saves in the final seconds.


  • The Blackhawks set a single-season attendance record of 835,972 on Wednesday night with a crowd of 21,536, their 42th consecutive sellout at the United Center. The record total does not include the 40,818 who attended the NHL Winter Classic, played by the Blackhawks and Detroit on New Year's Day 2009 at Wrigley Field.
  • Columbus D Rostislav Klesla missed his fifth game with a strained oblique muscle, LW Kristian Huselius missed his second with concussion-like symptoms and LW Fredrik Modin missed his 15th because of a sprained knee. All three are listed as day-to-day.
  • Chicago RW Patrick Sharp sat out his third game because of a lower-body injury.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Fedor Tyutin's goal in the shootout caps a historic night for the Blue Jackets franchise.  (Getty Images)
Fedor Tyutin's goal in the shootout caps a historic night for the Blue Jackets franchise. (Getty Images)
Related Links
Columbus  (41-29-10) «02101 (1)4
Chicago (44-24-12)21000 (0)3
Three Stars
R. Nash

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Havlat

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
D. Keith

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

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Scoring Summary
13:48Power Play - Brent Seabrook (8), Wrist Shot. Assist: Campbell, Keith
19:39Dave Bolland (18), Wrist Shot. Assist: Versteeg, Keith
05:37Antoine Vermette (16), Wrist Shot. Assist: Nash, Torres
08:00Jason Williams (19), Wrist Shot. Assist: Vermette, Umberger
17:43Martin Havlat (29), Snap Shot. Assist: Kane, Toews
14:30Rick Nash (39), Backhand Shot. Assist: Chimera, Hejda
 Fedor Tyutin (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
11:41Seabrook, 2 min, Interference
12:24Tyutin, 2 min, Interference
04:21Boll, 5 min, Fighting
04:21Eager, 5 min, Fighting
01:37Commodore, 2 min, Holding
04:30Tyutin, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
Steve Mason 65:0024330
Nikolai Khabibulin 65:0019321
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 21536
Referees - Dan O'Halloran, Dan Marouelli
Linesmen - David Brisebois, Don Henderson
Other Games
Buf 3 Final
Tor 1