How it happened: Once again the Hawks got off to a fast start, this time scoring three times in the opening 8:30. First, a nice passing play up ice and then a winning board-battle by Bryan Bickell led to Andrew Shaw's 10th goal of the season. Bickell’s shot went off Shaw’s leg and by Columbus goalie Steve Mason. Two minutes later, Patrick Sharp put a bad angle shot on Mason from his right and it got by for his 29th goal of the season. About two minutes after that, Brent Seabrook shot a puck from the point which found its way by for his 7th goal. Duncan Keith had assists on two of those goals and Seabrook was on the ice for all three. Sharp later tallied his 30th of the year on a one-timer from Marian Hossa during an early third-period power play. Then it was Hossa’s turn to score with the man-advantage as he tapped one in from Shaw for his 900th career point. The Hawks again missed out on getting their first shutout of the season when Rick Nash scored at 12:31 of the third. Corey Crawford was solid for a fourth straight game, stopping 11 shots in the first period and 24 for the game.
What it means: The Hawks swept the season series against Columbus in dominating fashion. And their new style of winning is giving more and more confidence they can make a long playoff run. Scoring early sets up the night in many ways and on Tuesday they did one better than the previous two games by scoring three in the opening minutes. Shaw continues to crash the net and get dirty goals while Bickell is playing his best hockey of the season. That line, with Dave Bolland, has been as noticeable as any trio during the current four-game winning streak. Seabrook, who has been a monster lately, added to his hot stretch by being on the ice for all five Hawks goals. But he missed a third consecutive plus-3 rating by being on the ice for the Nash goal. Keith had four assists as that duo did the job on both ends of the ice. The Hawks improved to 41-25-8 and did it in fine fashion.
What’s next: The Hawks complete their season series against arch-rival Vancouver Wednesday night at the United Center.