CHICAGO -- The Columbus Blue Jackets came into United Center on Friday night riddled with injuries but intent on spoiling the party for the Chicago Blackhawks, who are off to a historic start to this season.
Instead, despite a game effort by Columbus, Chicago found another way to keep the season-long celebration going with a 4-3 overtime victory at the Madhouse on Madison Street.
Brent Seabrook's goal with 1:37 left in OT provided the winning margin, and the Blackhawks upped their winning streak to eight games.
The Blackhawks (18-0-3) also extended their streak of consecutive games to start a season with at least a point to 21 games, best in NHL history.
Ray Emery (19 saves) started and improved his record to 9-0-0 for Chicago, which got its regulation goals from Viktor Stalberg, Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell.
Steve Mason (31 saves) took the loss for the Blue Jackets (5-13-3), who got goals from Vinny Prospal, Artem Anisimov and Ryan Johansen, whose first of the season at 12:23 of the third tied it 3-3 and set up the exciting finish.
Columbus had lost a pair of one-goal games to Chicago this season and held a 2-6-2 record in one-goal games.
The Blackhawks got on the board 12 seconds into a 3-0 victory on Thursday against the St. Louis Blues, but the Blue Jackets turned the tables with Prospal's sixth goal of the season to open the scoring 31 seconds into Friday's game.
After Derek Dorsett threw a shot on goal from just inside the right circle near the half wall, Emery made the save but couldn't find the puck on a big rebound. It kicked out to the low slot, where Prospal pounced on it and fired it into the net.
It was the beginning of a strong start for Columbus, which began the game without a handful of injured regulars and five defensemen after John Moore got injured in the team's morning skate.
Rookie defenseman Dalton Prout was recalled from Springfield of the American Hockey League to take Moore's spot, but his plane didn't arrive in Chicago until early evening. There also was a battle with gridlock rush-hour traffic that delayed his arrival.
Prout didn't appear on the Blue Jackets' bench until late in the first, and got a "Pleased to meet you" kind of handshake from veteran blueliner Adrian Aucoin when he did.
It took most of the first 20 minutes for the Blackhawks to get themselves into the game.
After Marcus Kruger's shot forced Mason to make a save 4:25 into the game, Chicago went without another shot for nearly 12 minutes. The next shot on goal by the Blackhawks came at the tail end of a power play late in the period. Kane shot a hard wrister from the top of the right circle, which led to Stalberg's sixth marker of the season, a rebound to knot it 1-1 with 3:51 left before the first intermission.
It was Stalberg's 11th goal and 13th point in 15 games he's played against Columbus, after scoring eight goals and adding two assists against the Blue Jackets last season.
Columbus kept charging after Chicago in the second. The Blue Jackets retook the lead 2-1 on a goal by Anisimov at 12:42, which he scored in his first game back after a three-game absence for a scary upper-body injury that happened Feb. 21 against the Detroit Red Wings.
It forced the Blackhawks to again do what they've been able to do all season long. They bounced back, and this time took a 3-2 lead into the third thanks to goals scored by Sharp and Bickell late in the second.
Sharp, who was hit in the face earlier in the second off a wrist shot by Kane, scored his fifth goal of the season to tie it 2-2 at 17:20 simply by throwing a backhand shot from a few feet above the goal line toward Mason. The puck slipped through Mason's left arm and hip and trickled into the net.
Bickell then launched one through the same spot against Mason 59 seconds later from the left circle to make it 3-2 Chicago, after first intercepting a pass at the blue line in the Blackhawks' zone.
In the third, after a couple of highlight-worthy saves by Emery, and Prospal ringing a pair of shots off the post, Johansen knotted it 3-3 a little more than halfway through the period. After a slick feed through the slot by Nick Foligno, Johansen beat Emery with a forehand-backhand deke to give even more life to the upset-minded Blue Jackets.
Stalberg almost picked up his second goal of the game with 2:39 left in regulation. Mason made a sprawling glove save from close range to keep the puck out of the net, which helped push it to overtime.
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