How it happened: The Blue Jackets pulled away by scoring four times in the first period. The Blackhawks actually led 1-0 and had the game tied 2-2, but Columbus kept on filling the net. Ryan Johansen first took advantage of a Chicago turnover at Columbus’ blue line and skated in for a breakaway goal at 3 minutes, 26 seconds of the first period. Cam Atkinson scored twice in the frame, with his second on a short-handed breakaway. Kevin Connauton also scored in the first period. Atkinson completed the hat trick with an empty-net goal in the third. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford was pulled after giving up four goals on 13 shots. He was replaced by Scott Darling. Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews accounted for the Blackhawks' goals. The Blue Jackets' Cody Goloubef and the Blackhawks' Johnny Oduya each had two assists. Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves.
What it means: The Blackhawks are heading in the wrong direction in the season's final weeks, with losses in three of the past four games. They fell to 44-24-6 on the season. The Blackhawks' playoff situation is also becoming less certain. They are in third place in the Central Division with 94 points through 74 games. They trail the Nashville Predators (100 points in 75 games) and St. Louis Blues (99 points in 74 games) and have the Minnesota Wild (93 points in 75 games) and Winnipeg Jets (90 points in 75 games) coming up behind them. The Blackhawks play the Blues twice more and the Wild and Jets once more each. The Blue Jackets won their fifth consecutive game and improved to 35-35-4.
Player of the game: Atkinson has six goals in the past eight games.
Stat of the game: The Blue Jackets killed off all five Blackhawks power plays.
What's next: The Blackhawks travel to play the Jets on Sunday. The Blackhawks are 1-3-0 against the Jets this season.