Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Blue Jackets, battling for a playoff spot, came within seconds of securing a valuable point and possibly a second.
Ben Smith scored with 3.9 seconds remaining in the third period, lifting the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 win over Columbus at Nationwide Arena.
A point shot by Duncan Keith went off Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky's glove and triggered a goal-mouth scramble, with Smith pushing the rebound into the open net.
"Somehow that puck found its way in," Smith said.
Keith had three assists and Antti Raanta made 24 saves for the Blackhawks, who moved to within a point of second-place Colorado in the Central Division.
Bobrovsky had 34 saves for Columbus, which still holds the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets, who have lost 13 in a row to the Blackhawks, are one point ahead of ninth-place Toronto and three points up on 10th-place New Jersey.
"It doesn't matter it was a Western Conference team. I don't look at it that way. I just look at it as a chance to get points and we weren't able to do that," said Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards.
Derek MacKenzie gave Columbus a 1-0 lead when he skated hard down the slot and scored on a rebound 1:32 into the contest.
The Blackhawks tied the game on Jeremy Morin's goal with 2:50 remaining in the first period, but Ryan Johansen put the Blue Jackets back on top, beating Raanta high glove at the 36-second mark of the second period.
Chicago went up 3-2 later in the middle stanza on goals by Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa. Sharp ripped a slap shot from the top of the right circle past Bobrovsky for a power-play goal at 4:14. Hossa scored on a rush, handling Kris Versteeg's pass and moving to the middle before beating Bobrovsky blocker side at 10:42.
The Blue Jackets countered 2:05 later on a power play as Artem Anisimov put the puck in off Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson at 12:47.
The Blackhawks last lost to the Blue Jackets on Feb. 18, 2011 ... Chicago has also won nine straight at Columbus since an 8-3 setback March 25, 2010.
04/04 22:35:33 ET