Blackhawks 1, Jets 3 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways

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.

Key Takeaways

  • In his first action since Nov. 22, Nikita Zaitsev had a nice afternoon. He saved a goal early in the third period when a shot slipped through and was sitting alone on the ice behind Söderblom for what could have been an easy tap-in goal. He also picked up four blocked shots and three hits and worked hard.
  • The new-look top line was buzzing in the first period. According to Natural Stat Trick, Bedard (8-1), Beauvillier (9-1) and Philipp Kurashev (9-1) were the best players on the Blackhawks at even strength shot attempts for-against in the opening 20 minutes. Bedard won three of four faceoffs in the first period as well.
  • The Jets attacked the first line in the second period and their shot attempt numbers were dramatically flipped. Bedard (12-12), Beauvillier (10-11) and Kurashev (13-14) were under siege at even strength in the middle stanza.
  • Overall, the Blackhawks did a good job of limiting the Jets’ opportunities in the first. They allowed only six shots on net (they had five). The second line of Lukas ReichelTyler JohnsonTaylor Raddysh were on the ice for four of Winnipeg’s six shots. Chicago blocked six shots in the first.
  • At the end of two periods, Johnson (nine), Raddysh (eight) and Reichel (seven) were on the ice for the most shots on net by Winnipeg. The Jets had 17 total shots on net at that point. Tyler had also won just one of seven faceoffs through two periods.
  • After the second goal, which wasn’t great, Söderblom settled down nicely. He took a couple shots off his head in the third period that, frankly, I’m a little surprised didn’t have the game stopped to check on him as he shook his head to get the cobwebs to settle down. He didn’t have much of a chance on the third goal. His rebound control still isn’t great but he made the saves required to keep the game close.
  • written by

    Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

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