Fritsche's Two Goals Lead Blue Jackets Past Blackhawks, 4-3
Letowski (1 g, 1 a) and Vyborny (2a) each contrinute two points
Fritsche scored his second goal of the night at 6:47 of the third period, taking a feed from Letowski, who found Fritsche with open ice around the right face off circle. Fritsche fired a slap shot past Chicago goaltender Craig Anderson, giving the Jackets a 3-2 lead.
Letowski scored what turned out to be the game winner three minutes later, stealing the puck from the Blackhawk defense and beating Anderson over his left shoulder, for a 4-2 lead.
Chicago cut the deficit to one later in the third period, scoring while both teams were down a man, as Brent Seabrook’s goal brought Chicago within 4-3. But Marc Denis and the Columbus defense would shut the door, sealing the one-goal victory. Denis stopped 28-of-31 shots on the evening, to earn the win.
The Blue Jackets took an early 1-0 advantage at 6:37 of the first, with Fritsche scoring his first of the night on a breakaway, set up by a pass from Vyborny. All alone with Chicago’s starter in goal, Michael Leighton, Fritsche beat him top shelf to the glove side. The Blackhawks would tie the score at 18:51, when Rene Bourque lit the lamp on a power-play goal, knotting the score at one at the first intermission.
Columbus retook the lead at 7:15 of the second period, as Mark Hartigan’s slap shot from the right face off circle gave the Jackets a 2-1 lead. The power-play goal was assisted by Vyborny and rookie Gilbert Brule. Chicago tied the score once again at 17:25 of the second period, scoring their second power-play goal of the night, scored by Tyler Arnason to tie the score at two.
For the evening, the Blackhawks out shot the Blue Jackets, 31-21, while Columbus finished 1-for-13 on the power play and killed off 9-of-11 Blackhawk power-play attempts.
Columbus will return to action on Sunday night, playing host to the Nashville Predators in a 5 p.m. contest that will wrap up the Blue Jackets preseason slate.
Columbus right wing Dan Fritsche
On the regular season quickly approaching:
“We have one more exhibition game and then the season is upon us. We wanted to get some momentum going into the season, so we took this game very seriously and we knew we needed a win.”
On getting back on the ice:
“The first game, it’s hard. I have to get my timing back. I got to get my confidence back. It was good to get out there tonight. I felt like my old self. I think I am good to go.”
On his thoughts of him making the team:
Columbus center Mark Hartigan
On things going in the right direction:
Columbus coach Gerard Gallant:
On Gilbert Brule’s play: