The Chicago Blackhawks played their first Central Division opponent of the season on Thursday night, but things didn’t go well as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Winnipeg Jets.
The loss snaps a four-game winning streak for the Blackhawks. Patrick Kane had the lone goal of the game for Chicago as Michael Hutchinson made 41 saves in the winning effort.
The Blackhawks got a power play chance just 18 seconds into the game, and they managed to cash in quickly. Andrew Shaw got to the front of the net to create a screen for Hutchinson, and Patrick Kane took advantage as he rifled in a low shot that got between the goaltender’s pads to give the Blackhawks an early 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately for Chicago, their lead was short-lived, and the Jets tied things up just a few minutes later. Marian Hossa and Viktor Tikhonov both closed out on Blake Wheeler after the Jets won a face-off, but they didn’t do it fast enough as the winger scored his fifth goal of the season to knot things up at 1-1.
The Jets had a chance to take the lead late in the period when Ryan Garbutt was sent to the penalty box, but it was Chicago that got the best scoring opportunity as Marian Hossa drove in hard around the edge of the defense. Hutchinson did make the save, and he kept the game tied through 20 minutes of play.
Winnipeg came out of the gate firing early in the second period, and after Jonathan Toews was called for his second penalty of the game, the Jets were able to take the lead. Bryan Little got a chance from in front of the net, and although Crawford stopped him, Andrew Ladd was there to punch the rebound home to give the Jets a 2-1 lead.
The Blackhawks had a few opportunities late in the second period as Andrew Shaw was stopped on back-to-back shots, and they also got a power play early in the third. Hutchinson continued to be up to the task however, and he made a huge stop on Hossa as he was unable to put home a brilliant feed from Tanner Kero.
The Jets made the Blackhawks pay for their inability to cash in on the power play, and they scored to put the game out of reach. David Rundblad made an attempt to pinch in at the blue line to keep the puck in the offensive zone, but he failed to do so and Mark Schiefele scored to make it a 3-1 game in favor of Winnipeg.
The Blackhawks had a couple more opportunities late in the game, but when Artemi Panarin and Trevor Daley failed to score, the Hawks’ four game winning streak came to a whimpering end.
The Hawks won’t have much time to lick their wounds, as they’ll head to Minnesota for a Friday night showdown against the Wild.