Along the boards: Blackhawks succumb to fatigue and the Winnipeg Jets


With the Chicago Blackhawks’ fleeting playoffs chance hanging in the balance, the team needed to finish off the second game in a back-to-back against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night.

In the first period, the Blackhawks came out fast and furious after a late-night game in Calgary on Saturday. On the other side of the ice, the Winnipeg Jets seemed to come out sluggish. The Jets eventually gained their footing and were able to match the Blackhawks’ level of intensity for most of the first period.

With under five minutes remaining in the first period, Patrick Kane was sprung on a pass in the Jets’ zone. Kane was able to backhand a pass to Ryan Carpenter. Carpenter redirected the beautiful Kane pass under the crossbar for the lone goal of the period and a 1–0 Hawks lead.

In the second period, the adrenaline wore off for Chicago, and Winnipeg started to impose its will. After winning a significant number of board battles in the first period, the Blackhawks were being beaten consistently on the boards in the second period.

Despite some heroics from Corey Crawford, the Jets eventually broke through with a goal of their own to tie the game at 1–1.

After a conversational non-goal from Winnipeg, the Jets struck again from the point. This time it was Jack Roslovic delivering a rocket near the blue line for a 2–1 Winnipeg advantage.

After the Roslovic goal, it appeared the Jets would have a one-goal lead after two periods, but with one minute remaining in the second period, the Blackhawks drew even. Jeremy Colliton loaded up a line with Kane, Jonathan Toews and Dominik Kubalik. Toews served Kane a pass on a silver platter in front of a yawning Winnipeg cage and Kane buried it for the 2–2 equalizer late in the second period.

Despite tying the game late in the second frame, the third period began with the Jets taking the play to the Blackhawks. After Crawford stopped several golden opportunities, Patrik Laine blasted a shot past Crawford from the point to again give the Jets the lead at 3–2.

After the Laine goal, fatigue set in big time for the Blackhawks. The team looked like they were in a slow-mo video from an iPhone late in the third period. With two minutes remaining, Chicago pulled Crawford for a sixth attacker, but was unable to generate one shot on a goal.

When the final horn sounded, the Blackhawks fell to the Jets 3–2. With the loss, Chicago is now six points out of the final wild card playoff spot.

The Blackhawks return to action on Wednesday night against the New York Rangers in Chicago. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST at the United Center.

Center Ice Forums Along the boards: Blackhawks succumb to fatigue and the Winning Jets

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