With all of the drama swirling around the Blackhawks in the last week, playing a game has to be a comfort for the team. Being on the ice is where they can focus on the puck and each other. With Anthony Beauvillier making his first appearance with the team on the top line, they were able to get on the board first. Winnipeg answered with a power play goal, but the teams were even after 20 minutes.
The Blackhawks turned in a much better penalty kill early in the second period but Morgan Barron got behind the defense and gave the Jets a 2-1 lead moments after the penalty expired. Connor Murphy dove to break up the pass entering the zone and came up short and Barron beat Beauvillier to the shot. Arvid Söderblom would probably like another look at the Barron shot. Chicago worked hard in the second period and took a one-goal deficit to the room.
The third period didn’t see the Blackhawks generate much of anything offensively.
Star 1: Connor Bedard
With his first period goal — on his first shot of the game — Bedard extended his road point streak to eight games. That moves him past Sidney Crosby, Steve Yzerman and Sylvain Turgeon into second all-time among 18-year-olds in NHL history. He had a few more really good looks at the net in the second. Near the end of the second period, Bedard made a gorgeous pass all the way across the crease off his backhand for a shot attempt. At the end of the shift he got hit from behind and in front and appeared to be feeling it on the bench as the second came to a close. He returned for the third and had a good scoring chance on a rebound early in the period.
Star 2: The TEEN Line
The Blackhawks have two teenagers in the lineup (Bedard and Kevin Korchinski), but the third line as it stands might be nicknamed the Teen Line if they keep Joey Anderson (15), Jason Dickinson (16) and Nick Foligno (17) together. Each of the three had a strong game; Anderson and Dickinson created a rush opportunity while short-handed and Dickinson was the Blackhawks’ busiest and best player in the faceoff circle. They were on the ice for Winnipeg’s third goal but there’s little they could have done differently on the play; it was a gorgeous redirect by Cole Perfetti.
Star 3: Seth Jones
Jones was active in this game. Through two periods, he was on the ice for six of the Blackhawks’ 11 shots — three of them from himself. He also led the team with six even strength shot attempts and was credited with two hits and three blocked shots through 40 minutes. Of his team-leading 17:29 of ice time through two, 13:07 was at even strength.