Blackhawks vs. Jets recap 2016: Chicago stumbles in 2-1 loss

An ugly first period set the stage for a disappointing 2-1 home loss to Winnipeg.

The Chicago Blackhawks came out lifeless in the first period and couldn’t make up for it in a 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night. It was a close game that went down to the final minute, but that was as much because of goaltender Scott Darling’s fantastic performance as anything.

Other than Darling, who saved 30 of 32 attempts in the loss, the Blackhawks struggled in this game from the start. They recorded just three shots on goal in the first period — a season low — and ended up getting outshot, 29-21, during 5-on-5 play.

The team has fallen behind before, but you can only come back from shaky first periods so many times. On Sunday, after an especially poor first period, the game was still firmly in reach. That ugly stretch set a bad tone for an underwhelming loss in the end, however.

Turning point

Somehow this game was still close until late in the third period, when Artemi Panarin scored the game-tying goal to throw the crowd into a frenzy. Just after that, Winnipeg’s Andrew Copp scored to give the Jets a 2-1 lead, and while the Blackhawks had a power play for the final few minutes of the game after a double minor on Jacob Trouba, Chicago was unable to force anything but long distance shots.

SCH Three stars

1. Andrew Copp, Jets (1 goal, 2 shots on goal)

2. Scott Darling, Blackhawks (30 saves on 32 attempts, including several breakaways)

3. Bryan Little, Jets (1 goal, 2 shots on goal)

Play of the game

The Blackhawks’ lone goal came on a gorgeous cross ice pass from Patrick Kane to Artemi Panarin. It’s incredibly how they take advantage of the chances given to them, even when the team is struggling to push the puck. Too bad that goal didn’t at least earn the team a point.




What’s next?

The Blackhawks are off Monday before continuing their home stand against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. It should be a favorable matchup given the Coyotes are just 3-6-3 on the road this season.