RECAP: Bedard’s two-point effort leads Blackhawks past Senators 3–2

  

The Chicago Blackhawks entered today’s matinee against the Ottawa Senators with two consecutive losses and 1–8–1 in their last 10 games. On a positive front, it was the second game of the Connor Bedard comeback tour. Bedard had an assist in his first game back and appeared to find his footing as the game wore on.

Today’s lineup was:

The notable subtraction was Lukas Reichel being healthy scratched for his second straight game.

First period

In the first period, the Blackhawks’ top line got the team on the board with a nifty passing play from Philipp Kurashev to Bedard back to Kursahev, who sent it over for Nick Foligno for the backdoor goal.

The Senators answered the Foligno goal with a goal from Tim Stutzle. Stutzle scored the goal on a 2-on-1 break to knot the score at 1–1 following a failed Jaycob Megna pinch. The Senators had another 2-on-1 that Petr Mrazek and the post turned wide of the net. The period ended with the scored tied.

Second period

Ottawa broke the tie with a goal from Jakob Chychrun. On the Senators’ power play, Stutzle entered the zone with some speed and found Chychrun wide open on the back door for the goal. The Hawks’ biggest Achilles this season has been the backdoor pass.

The Hawks responded with a goal of their own from Bedard. Kurashev won a 50-50 puck along the boards and fed Bedard, who snapped off a wrist shot that trickled through the five hole of Joonas Korpisalo.

Mrazek kept the score tied at 2–2 with some brilliant saves in the second period.

Third period

The Hawks thought they had the lead when Bedard dangled his way around Korpisalo for his second goal of the game. But, the goal was overturned with an offside call on an Ottawa challenge.

After the goal was overturned, the Hawks rallied for the victory. Jason Dickinson fired a shot that was blocked, and then when he was falling down, fired a second shot past Korpisalo for the eventual game winner. The Hawks would hold on for the 3–2 victory.

Analysis

The Blackhawks are a different team with Bedard on the ice. He helps them generate chances and had one goal and one assist in his second game back. With all due respect to Brock Faber, the Calder Trophy is still Bedard’s to lose, despite what the Wild’s fan base would like to think.

Mrazek continues to have an impressive season with great positioning and a great stick. Dickinson continued his best NHL season with his 17th goal of the season. The Hawks have shown they can be a winning team when they score three goals or more in a game; it is just a matter of if they can get there.

Lastly, during the broadcast, the birthday boy, Darren Pang, and Chris Vosters alluded to the fact that Reichel will likely be sent to Rockford soon. With the roster getting healthy and his poor play, Reichel needs to be sent down to regain some confidence. Blackhawks studio analyst John Scott said the other night that Reichel has had a terrible season and the Hawks need to figure out if he is in the future plan.

The Blackhawks’ next game is Monday against the Carolina Hurricanes. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST.

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