RECAP: Bedard banks two more goals, but Blackhawks fall in Sunrise


The Chicago Blackhawks looked to finish off a two-game road trip with a pair of wins and bring themselves to within a game of having a .500 record. Connor Bedard continued his strong play of late in a Thursday night win over the Lightning in Tampa, scoring two more goals to add to what has been a great rookie season thus far, even if it is expected out of the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Some key players got hurt in that game, however, in Andreas Athanasiou, Taylor Hall and Jarred Tinordi, and all three would miss Sunday afternoon’s matinee.

Things did not look like they would be going the Blackhawks’ way in this game when Arvid Soderblom got pulled to one side of the net, biting hard on a pass from Evan Rodrigues to Sam Reinhart, who then passed it out front to a wide-open Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who put the Panthers up 1–0 just 39 seconds into the game.

The Blackhawks would answer just over six minutes later. Jason Dickinson led the rush up the ice, getting the puck to Taylor Raddysh, who passed it to Connor Murphy. Murphy put a shot off the boards, with the rebound taken by Lukas Reichel, who put the puck in front to Dickinson. He beat three Panthers in front and tipped it past Sergei Bobrovsky to make it 1–1.

The Panthers gained a power play on a Bedard holding-the-stick penalty against Nick Cousins. On the ensuing power play, Matthew Tkachuk wristed a shot from the point that was deflected in by Sam Reinhart out in front of the net, 2–1 Panthers.

With just under a minute remaining in the period, Bedard picked the pocket of the Panthers’ Kevin Stenlund and put the puck up and over the shoulder of Bobrovsky from a terrible angle to tie things up again before the period ended, sending things to the intermission 2–2.

It took longer for another goal to come in the second. The Panthers controlled play for a while, and maintained possession in the offensive zone for an extended period. Seven minutes into the period, Reinhart got the puck down below the goal line, picking up a rebound of a shot. He banked the puck off of the back of Soderblom’s pad and into the back of the net, 3–2 Florida.

But, just 1:18 later, the boy wonder did it again. The Panthers got caught in a change, with Seth Jones getting the puck up the side boards to Bedard, who beat the defense back into position, beating Bobrovsky on the glove side again, and knotting this one up at 3–3 heading into the third.

Bedard would take a nasty hit along the boards that the Blackhawks took exception to, as Nick Foligno jumped in to make sure that Dmitry Kulikov knew that the hit was not acceptable to the Hawks.

The Blackhawks would give up another power play in the third, and once again the Panthers would make them pay. Dickinson got called for interference against Kulikov, putting the Panthers back on the man advantage. Tkachuk skated in with a shot on net with the rebound coming in front to Reinhart, who put it over to a wide-open Carter Verhaeghe, 4–3 Panthers.

The Blackhawks put together a solid third, getting 13 shots on net, including a flurry at the very end, but they were not able to put any more past Bobrovsky, dropping this close game 4–3.


Bedard was electric, as he has been in many games this season, scoring six goals in his last six games, and four in his last two. He looks like he has adjusted quickly to the NHL game, despite being just 18 years old, and has shown the huge hockey IQ that we all knew he had coming into this league. With a few guys having to step back into the lineup in this game, it was good to see different lines coming together and looking like they have played together before. The Hawks took too many penalties in this game, though Foligno’s can be forgiven, even according to Luke Richardson. You cannot give up power plays against a great power play team and the runners-up in the NHL last season and not expect that to come back and haunt you.

The Blackhawks’ next game is on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning at home. That game will be at 7 p.m. CST on Hulu and ESPN+.

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