Artem Anisimov and Teuvo Teravainen scored 1:05 apart late in the second period to break a scoreless tie, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat Columbus 4-1 on Saturday night, extending the Blue Jackets’ worst start in franchise history with their sixth straight loss.
Chicago’s Marian Hossa added a power-play goal in the third and had an assist as the defending Stanley Cup champions rebounded after consecutive listless losses at Philadelphia and Washington, where they scored only once while giving up seven goals.
Patrick Kane completed the scoring with his fourth goal, shot into an empty net with 1:27 left.
Columbus’ Jack Johnson scored on a shot from the left point with 3:39 left in the third period – and former Blackhawk forward Brandon Saad parked in front – to spoil Corey Crawford’s shutout bid. Crawford finished with 22 saves for Chicago (3-3-0).
Veteran backup Curtis McElhinney started in goal for Columbus (0-6-0) in place of struggling Sergei Bobrovsky and made 26 saves. He had to stop several breakaways on other prime chances to keep it close for the Blue Jackets, who have not held an opponent to under four goals this season.
Saad, who skated on Chicago’s 2013 and 2015 championship teams, played his first game at the United Center since he was dealt to Columbus in a multi-player trade on June 30 that brought Anisimov to Chicago.
The Blackhawks had said they wanted to keep the 22-year-old Saad as one of their core players, but they didn’t have room under the NHL’s hard cap for the restricted free agent’s $6 million annual salary demand.
Anisimov opened the scoring with 4:25 left in the second on a backhander just under the crossbar.
Teravainen was credited with a power-play goal that made it 2-0 with 3:20 remaining in the period when his centring attempt, intended for Anisimov, deflected in off the left skate of Columbus defenceman Dalton Prout.
Hossa made it 3-0 at 7:48 of the third with his first goal this season after stripping the puck from Matt Calvert at centre ice. Hossa then circled back and sprinted down the right wing before firing a low shot from the circle.
Bobrovksy, the Vezina Trophy winner in the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, has a horrific 5.07 goals-against average and .835 save percentage in five starts.
The Blue Jackets also have been plagued by turnovers in allowing a league-worst 30 goals.
NOTES: Chicago F Vincent Hinostroza played in his first NHL game after being recalled from Rockford of the AHL. . The crowd of 21,563 cheered Saad during a first-period video tribute. He responded with a subdued wave and lifted his stick to salute the fans. . Saad set career highs with 23 goals and 29 assists in 82 games last season. He then had eight goals and three assists in the playoffs, helping Chicago to its third NHL title in six seasons. . Despite the announced 332nd straight sellout, there were pockets of empty seats in the United Center as the Cubs played the Mets in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series in New York.