If the goal at the United Center on Sunday night was to cure insomnia, the Blackhawks and Jets did a terrific job.
Neither team effectively controlled the puck the entire night, and generating a quality scoring chance was a lost art. Chicago managed to put three shots on net, officially, in the first period. And that felt generous. Winnipeg only managed to put three shots on Scott Darling, who was starting for the second time in as many days.
The second period was more of the same lackluster play with neither team having any sustained puck possession. The Hawks managed to get 10 pucks on net and the Jets were credited with 13 shots. Unfortunately, one of theirs beat Darling.
Patrick Kane went to the box with 1:19 left in the second period and Winnipeg took advantage. Bryan Little made the deposit 35 seconds into the advantage and the visitors took a 1-0 lead to the second intermission.
The third period started with the same inefficient hockey from Chicago. Indeed, ten minutes into the final frame the fans tried to wake up the team on the ice with attempts at “Let’s go Hawks!” being chanted through the inability to complete passes or keep the puck in the zone.
But finally, desperately, 13 minutes into the third the Blackhawks were able to break through. Artemi Panarin scored his tenth of the season to tie the game at one.
Any momentum hypothetically sparked by the Panarin goal was dashed when Andrew Copp scored at 15:15 to close the books on the scoring on Sunday night. The Hawks would get four minutes of power play time to close out the contest but failed to beat Connor Hellebuyck.
Darling finished the night with 30 saves and didn’t receive much help; he was handed another loss with only one goal scored by his teammates.
With Nick Schmaltz reassigned to Rockford, Andrew Desjardins moved back to center on the fourth line and was perfect in seven faceoffs. He also led the Hawks with five hits in only 8:11 of ice time.
Kane skated 22:42 but only managed to put one shot on net. He was credited with three hits and an assist on Panarin’s goal, however. Panarin was one of three Blackhawks to put a team-high four shots on goal, and he was credited with two takeaways as well. Artem Anisimov won nine of 16 faceoffs between the two snipers in the loss.
Michal Kempny got hammered by Copp in the second period and left the ice in a good deal of pain, but was able to return later. He skated only 9:41 and whiffed on a shot attempt that went the other way, turning into a breakaway attempt that Darling successfully saved.
Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor didn’t dress for Winnipeg. Gustav Forsling was in the lineup with Trevor van Riemsdyk getting a night off after returning from IR on Saturday.
The Hawks are 3-5-1 and have only scored 12 goals in their last eight games. Four times in those eight games the Hawks have been held to one goal… perhaps it’s time for a new marketing slogan?
The Coyotes visit the United Center on Tuesday.