Blackhawks remain unbeaten after edging Columbus

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Blackhawks remain unbeaten after edging Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio It certainly wasnt their prettiest game of their first five, but the Chicago Blackhawks found a way to win and continue their scorching start to the 2013 season.

Jonathan Toews notched the game-winner and Corey Crawford stopped 24-of-26 shots as the Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 at Nationwide Arena on Saturday night. The Blackhawks, now 5-0-0, continue to get off to their best season start in 40 years.

Kane had two assists for the Blackhawks. Michael Frolik also added an assist.

Granted, it wasnt their sharpest game. The Blackhawks struggled out of the gate against the Blue Jackets, who showed more fire, speed and determination. At one point, Columbus was outshooting the Blackhawks 9-2, and Columbus took the early lead on Mark Letestus goal.

But the Blackhawks firepower came through eventually. Dave Bolland followed up on a Patrick Kane shot to tie it 1-1, then Bryan Bickell redirected Niklas Hjalmarssons shot to take a 2-1 advantage in the second period.

Toews added the eventual winner in the third period, taking Kanes pass and making a few quick moves before putting it past Steve Mason.

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Michal Kempny was in and out of the Blackhawks lineup last season but he’ll likely get a bigger opportunity this coming season. On Saturday, he was assured of coming back to get that chance.

Kempny and the Blackhawks agreed to a one-year extension, the team announced on Saturday morning.

“Michal’s style of play is an asset to our defense,” general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He is the type of player who will continue to improve now that he has transitioned to the National Hockey League. We look forward to his continued development on the ice for the Blackhawks.”

Kempny was part of a very crowded blue line last season — he was one of eight defensemen at the start of it — and played 50 regular-season games. He recorded two goals and six assists in those contests but did not play in the Blackhawks’ four postseason contests. With Johnny Oduya and Brian Campbell likely not returning, however, Kempny should get a bigger opportunity this season.

The 26-year-old Kempny also had two goals and an assist in eight games for the Czech Republic team at the 2017 World Championship.

Blackhawks announce plans for NHL Draft Fan Fest

Blackhawks announce plans for NHL Draft Fan Fest

With exactly a month to go until Chicago hosts the 2017 NHL Draft for the first time ever, the Blackhawks and league announced Wednesday their plans for Fan Fest held outside the United Center on June 23 and 24.

A handful of Blackhawks players and alumni will be in attendance and made available for photo opportunities, as will the Stanley Cup. Fans will also be able to explore the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, "a 53-foot museum truck with an innovative interior featuring more than 1,000 square feet of interactive digital displays, original video content, one-of-a-kind historical memorabilia, unique photo moments and a social media wall," according to the press release.

A full list of activities, special guest appearances and schedule will be posted at a later date.

Friday's events will run from 3 to 9 p.m. while Saturday's festivites will go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Parking Lot C, north of the United Center.

Additional passes for the weekend will be made available to the public starting June 9. For more information, visit chicagoblackhawks.com/fanfest.