Blackhawks wary of red-hot Blue Jackets

Blackhawks wary of red-hot Blue Jackets

March 14, 2013, 12:15 pm
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Corey Crawford will get the start and Jimmy Hayes will be back in the lineup when the Chicago Blackhawks play the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena tonight.

The Blue Jackets, who enter tonight’s game 13th in the Western Conference, have been strong as of late. They’ve won five of their last six, and have been tough for the Blackhawks all season, despite Chicago’s 3-0-0 mark against them.

[MORE: Blackhawks, Blue Jackets battle on CSN]

“They’re a better team, first off,” said Patrick Kane, who has 35 points in 33 career games vs. Columbus. “They’re a dangerous team this year. It’s not like years past where you’d have a good feeling going in that you’ll come out on top. Every game’s been a one-goal game. We just have to take them like any other team, try to play our game and dictate and get back to how we were playing earlier in the year.”

Andrew Shaw said Columbus is stronger.

“They’re a hard-working team,” he said. “They have skill but they also have a lot of guys who work hard. They push as a team and create a lot of chances for themselves.”

Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start tonight for the Blue Jackets.

Hayes is expected to play left wing on the second line with Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane.

[RELATED: Hawks' third line reunites]

In other news, coach Joel Quenneville said Patrick Sharp is “progressing,” adding that Sharp hopes to start skating today or tomorrow. Forward Rostislav Olesz also cleared waivers, and was assigned to the Rockford IceHogs.