The Blackhawks came into the game facing a Winnipeg Jets team that has already clinched a playoff spot but still had something to play for. They had not been playing well coming in but the Central Division title was still up for grabs along with a first round series at home.
There were a couple milestones to note as Patrick Kane participated in his 900th NHL game and Artem Anisimov his 700th. While the Blackhawks have not been mathematically eliminated yet, they are still making some changes to the lineup to take a look at next season. John Hayden and Brendan Perlini were inserted into the lineup while David Kampf and Chris Kunitz were scratched.
There was some feeling out and back and forth play to start the game until Mathieu Perreault was called for holding Patrick Kane at 3:29. It took less than a minute for the Blackhawks to capitalize on the power play. Jonathan Toews (34) scored on a shot that redirected off of Jacob Trouba’s stick and snuck through Connor Hellebuyck’s five-hole.
The Blackhawks would start to take control in the shots category but it was the Jets who struck next at 10:49. Adam Lowry (12) beat Corey Crawford short side after a nice drop pass from Brendon Tanev (15) to even the game up 1–1.
The Jets would head to the power play less than two minutes later as Duncan Keith was called for tripping Nikolaj Ehlers. The Blackhawks were able to kill the penalty without giving up any quality chances to the Jets.
It was more of the same as the Blackhawks held the shot advantage as the period went on. Once again the Jets were able to come through. At 19:26 Jack Roslovic was able to strip Gustav Forsling and score from an improbable along along the goal line for his eighth goal of the season. The period would end there 2–1 Jets.
The second period started with some excitement as Toews was called for hooking Mark Scheifele on a breakaway which resulted in a penalty shot. Scheifele was unable to convert on his first career penalty shot as he tried to go five-hold on Crawford.
Only 10 seconds later, Erik Gustafsson was called for delay of game after putting the puck over the glass. A little more than halfway through the penalty kill Patrik Laine was called for slashing Keith. Neither team was able to convert on their shortened power plays.
Roslovic was able to tally his second of the game and ninth of the season at 5:13 by beating Crawford top-shelf glove side. That snipe made the score 3–1 in favor of the Jets.
Just over a minute later at 6:23, the Blackhawks were able to respond. Dylan Strome made an errant pass to Patrick Kane that actually came back to him in front of the net. Strome (18) was able to sneak it past Hellebuyck to cut the Jets’ lead to one at 3–2.
The Jets really started to pick up the pace of play and took advantage in the shots column for the game. Forsling was called for holding Andrew Copp at 11:40 as the Jets continued to pepper Crawford but were unable to convert on any chances.
At 18:36, the Blackhawks headed to their third power play of the game following a Blake Wheeler high-sticking of Alex DeBrincat. They were unable to take advantage before the end of the period but would have 36 seconds remaining to start the third period.
The Jets doubled the Blackhawks shots on goal in the second period 14–7 to take a 23-19 advantage in the game. It was 3–2 Jets going into the final frame.
The Blackhawks were unable to convert on the remaining power play time from the second period. Both teams started to tighten things up in the final period and there were only a combined six shots on goal through eight minutes of the period.
At 8:23, Gustafsson was called for hooking Ehlers and the Blackhawks headed to the kill. They would once again kill off the penalty, the fourth of the night.
The Jets looked to have extended their lead to two at 3:00 on a Scheifele goal, but it was waived off for interference. It was still 3–2 Jets with 3:14 to play in the game. Crawford was pulled for the sixth attacker at 3:00.
The Blackhawks got the puck into the offensive zone and the Jets could not clear it. After a couple chances with no success, the Blackhawks were able to get it back to the Keith at the point. He passed it to Gustafsson who made a nice fake-shot pass to Toews net-side and then got it to Strome (19) for his second of the game. That tied the game at 3–3 with 2:20 left.
That was it for the scoring but with 12 seconds left, Dustin Byfuglien dummied Drake Caggiula with a check at the blue line. This resulted in a little fight that ended in Byfuglien getting the best of Caggiula some more.
Regulation ended 3–3 and headed to overtime.
It was fast and furious for both teams but Crawford stood on his head until he could not thwart the Jets’ attack anymore. He made four A+ saves until Kevin Hayes (19) was able to sneak one past for the game-winning goal with 1:22 remaining in overtime to hand the Blackhawks a 4–3 loss.
- Toews tied his career high in goals (34) and with that goal reached his career high in points as well (77). He added an assist later in the night.
- Crawford was pelted with shots all night and made 35 saves on 39 shots.
- The Blackhawks successfully killed all four penalties on the night.