Not since the days of Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito, more than 40 years ago, have the Chicago Blackhawks started a season like this.

The Blackhawks survived a pesky effort by the Columbus Blue Jackets last night to claim a 3-2 victory before an announced crowd of 18,381 in Nationwide Arena, improving to 5-0 for the first time since 1971-72.

"Finding ways to win is important," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "You're not going to be great or be your best every night.

"You have to commend Columbus. They played a very workman-like game. They were the harder working team. But finding a way is important."

Dave Bolland, Brian Bickell and Jonathan Toews scored for the Blackhawks, while goaltender Corey Crawford had 24 saves. Chicago nearly let a late 3-1 lead slip away, however.