By Jon Fromi
Monday night, the Chicago Blackhawks became the first NHL team to reach the 50-point mark this season, using a trio of second period goals to hand the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-1 loss.
The game, which was a bit lacking in execution at times, was noteworthy in a pair of goals from the red-hot Viktor Stalberg and another solid game in net by Corey Crawford.
The four-day layoff was apparent in the first period as the ‘Hawks struggled to hit tape on their passes. Stalberg set up Bryan Bickell with a nice pass in the early going which led to a hooking infraction by Antoine Vermette. After failing to score on the resulting power play, Rick Nash earned a roughing call in responding to Marcus Kruger with a punch to the head after Kruger head checked Nash over the boards and into the Hawks’ bench.