After making history with consecutive overtime shutout victories in their previous two games, the Blackhawks successfully scored a regulation goal.
And then allowed three.
Patrick Kane sniped home a power play goal only 86 seconds into the game, but that was the extent of the Blackhawks offense on Thursday night. Winnipeg goaltender Michael Hutchinson stole the show with a strong performance against a lot of action to earn the victory.
Blake Wheeler tied the game at 8:15 into the first, the first even strength goal allowed by the Blackhawks in eight regulation periods; the last regulation goal allowed by the Hawks was in the first period against Florida.
Andrew Ladd added a power play goal in the second period and Mark Scheifele scored in the third, and the Hawks weren’t able to solve Hutchinson the rest of the way. Chicago put 32 shots on net in the opening 40 minutes, but came away with only the one tally.
Tanner Kero made his 2015-16 debut and won four of ten faceoffs in just over ten minutes of ice time. He was credited with three shots on goal, one hit and one takeaway while spending much of the night on a line with Bickell and Ryan Garbutt.
Marian Hossa had eight shots on net but failed to register a point for the fourth consecutive game. Viktor Tikhonov started the game with Hossa and Jonathan Toews again, but was limited to only 9:50 on the ice as the Quenneville line blender went into high gear in the second and third periods.
Bryan Bickell returned to the lineup in place of Teuvo Teravainen and effectively made zero impact on the game. And the Hawks blue line tandem of David Rundblad and Trevor Daley was awful the entire night, and was exposed on a number of occasions.
Trevor vanRiemsdyk had another strong game, skating 21:14 with two blocked shots, one hit and two shots on net. Viktor Svedberg skated only 16:42 and also blocked two shots; Daley was on the ice for 19:10 and put three shots on net. Brent Seabrook led the way with three blocked shots and 22:28 on the ice.
With the Hawks back on the ice on Friday night in Minnesota, hopefully we’ll see Erik Gustafsson and Teravainen in the lineup.