RECAP: Bedard strikes twice as Blackhawks top Lightning in Tampa


Following a loss on home ice to the New Jersey Devils last Sunday night, the Chicago Blackhawks looked to get back into the win column with a Thursday night matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. With the Blackhawks players’ moms in attendance as part of the bi-annual moms trip, the contest featured a family reunion with the first-ever head-to-head matchup at the NHL level between the Raddysh brothers, Chicago’s Taylor and Tampa Bay’s Darren. It was also the first time first overall picks Steven Stamkos and Connor Bedard faced each other. In net, the Hawks started Petr Mrazek against the Lightning’s Jonas Johansson, who continues to fill in admirably while Andrei Vasilevskiy recovers from back surgery.

It took just over three minutes for the Lightning to strike first. On the power play, the Lightning won a face-off and former Blackhawk Brandon Hagel fed a wide-open Anthony Cirelli in the slot, who shot a one-timer past Mrazek for his second of the season at the 3:20 mark of the first.

A little over a minute later, Bedard tied it with his sixth of the season. Philipp Kurashev stick-handled his way to the right post and fed Bedard, who got inside leverage on Victor Hedman and tapped it in to make it 1–1 at the 4:42 mark at even strength.

Tampa Bay took a 2–1 lead when Nikita Kucherov scored his 11th of the season. Tanner Jeannot fanned on a slap shot that went right to Kucherov, who was wide open on the door step and scored on an open net at the 12:31 mark.

The Blackhawks tied it at 2–2 at the 16:43 mark when Kevin Korchinski scored his first career goal when a point shot went in off a Lightning defender’s skate.

Less than a minute later, the Blackhawks took the lead for the first time in the game. A neutral zone turnover led to a 2-on-1 and Bedard fed Tyler Johnson, who buried it for his fourth of the season at 17:37. For Bedard, it marked the first multi-point game of his career.

But Bedard was not done. In the closing seconds of the first, the Hawks forced a turnover in the neutral zone. Bedard blindly swept the puck behind his back to Nick Foligno, who skated in 2-on-1 with Bedard before feeding Bedard streaking to the net. Bedard made a slick backhand move on Johansson to score his second of the game and seventh of the season. The Hawks took a 4–2 lead into the first intermission.

Early in the second, with the Hawks on a four-minute power play, Corey Perry lit the lamp against his former team with his third of the season. Bedard handled the puck on the right wing boards and found Perry camping in front of the net for a tip-in tally to give the Hawks a 5–2 lead, and for Bedard, his fourth point of the night. The Hawks would take a three-goal lead into the second intermission.

With 2:10 left in the third and the Lightning trailing by three and their net empty, Stamkos poked in a rebound during a goal-mouth scramble to cut the Hawks’ lead to 5–3. For Stamkos, it was his fifth of the season. The score would stay that way at the final buzzer.


A strong start for the Lightning did not faze the visitors, as the Blackhawks kept battling and were rewarded for their effort with a tremendous road win against a quality team. Bedard finished with a career-high four points and could have had more, as he had multiple quality scoring chances throughout the game. Mrazek had another strong performance in net with 31 saves. The only downside of the game was the Hawks saw three players—Jarred Tinordi, Andreas Athanasiou and Taylor Hall—all leave the game at different points with injuries, with none returning.

The Blackhawks’ road trip with their moms continues on Sunday in the Sunshine State with a matinee against the Florida Panthers. Puck drop is at noon CST on NHL Network with the radio call on 720 WGN.

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