In the Blackhawks’ most physical game of the season, Teuvo Teravainen scored his first NHL goal but it was in vain as the visiting Winnipeg Jets won their fourth straight at the United Center.
Coach Joel Quenneville opened the game with his fourth line of Ben Smith, Marcus Kruger and Daniel Carcillo on the ice.
The Hawks got on the board first when Brandon Saad deposited a ridiculous backhand past Michael Hutchinson for his 13th of the season only 53 seconds into the game. Saad had a strong offensive night skating with Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews, tying Teravainen and Patrick Sharp for the team lead with five shots on goal and adding one takeaway.
After Saad’s goal, the game started to get incredibly chippy. Bryan Bickell played one of the more physical games of his career; he came out leveling anyone he could reach, and had a couple big hits in the game’s opening minutes. After one big hit, Anthony Peluso took exception and dropped the mitts with Bickell; Chicago’s forward got it handed to him pretty well by the younger Peluso. Because he instigated the fight, Peluso picked up an extra minor and 10-minute misconduct while Bickell was hit for only the fighting major.
Chicago’s lead would last less than ten minutes, however, as Zach Bogosian unloaded and beat Corey Crawford for his third of the season. The goal came moments after the Jets were able to kill off a Blake Wheeler penalty.
The physical play continued to ramp up, and less than three minutes after Bogosian’s goal another fight broke out. Jim Slater put Patrick Kane into the boards hard, and Brent Seabrook didn’t like it. After a couple whacks, the two dropped their gloves with Seabrook giving Slater a rough go just as Peluso handled Bickell earlier.
A wild opening 20 minutes of hockey ended with the Jets out-shooting the Hawks 16-12 and 36 penalty minutes already logged.
The parade to the penalty box continued in the second period, with the Hawks killing an early Brad Richards penalty and then Bickell and Dustin Byfuglien going off for off-setting minors.
Carcillo had spent a great deal of the night exchanging pleasantries with Evander Kane between the benches, and Carcillo escalated the physical play late in the second; the period would have ended without much fanfare except Carcillo slammed Mathieu Perreault into the boards with ten seconds left in the middle stanza. Perreault left the ice in a great deal of pain and did not return to the game. Somehow, Carcillo was only called for a minor cross-checking penalty.
The Hawks were undone by 28 seconds in the middle of the third period.
Bryan Little scored a power play goal to give the Jets the lead at 9:31, and Chris Thorburn added the game-winner only 28 seconds later. The Little goal was an really nice passing sequence Wheeler to Bogosian to Little; Thorburn found a tipped puck all alone on the doorstep and made the deposit.
At 12 minutes into the third, Quenneville threw Teravainen on the ice with Kane and Bickell and it paid off on their first shift together. The United Center erupted when Teravainen scored, the culmination of his best night in the NHL lineup. He finished with the team-high five shots on goal and one takeaway, but had a lot of jump from his first shift. He was one of few Hawks forward consistently getting the puck towards the net the entire night, and fans in attendance finally felt like we were starting to see the kid we’ve heard so much about over the last couple years.
Unfortunately, that was the end of the Hawks offense. Andrew Ladd added an empty net goal to extend the score to 4-2, where the game ultimately ended.
Crawford made 31 saves in the loss, while Hutchinson continued his mastery of the Hawks with 31 saves of his own.
The Hawks are back at it when Dallas visits the UC for an early 5 pm CT start on Sunday evening.