The Chicago Blackhawks normally dominate the Winnipeg Jets and felt quite confident going into their game Sunday night. In the three previous meetings this season, the Blackhawks won all three and outscored the Jets 15-5. Sunday's game started no different as the Blackhawks jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just over one minute into the game. They would continue to pour on their offense attack and after the first period they outshot the Jets 18-2.
The second period started mostly the same with the Blackhawks dominating the puck possession and scoring chances. They would push the shot differential to 22-2, but the score would still remain 1-0. The Jets registered a few shots on net throughout the period, but after two periods the shot totals were 27-6 in favor of the Blackhawks. However, the score was still only 1-0 Blackhawks. They failed to score on several scoring chances as Jets goaltender Al Montoya was incredible. The Blackhawks' missed opportunities throughout the first two periods would prove to be costly in the third period.
In the third period the game took a complete turn. It was mostly all Jets. After going the first two periods without only six shots, the Jets outshot the Blackhawks 15-8 in the third. Not only did they beat them on the shot total throughout the period, but they also beat them on the scoreboard. Blake Wheeler buried a snap shot past a sprawling Corey Crawford to tie the game midway through the third period. Then just under five minutes later, Andrew Ladd would score again for the Jets and giving them the unimaginable 2-1 lead. The Blackhawks tried to comeback late in the third and send the game to overtime, but with their goalie pulled Blake Wheeler scored his second goal of the night into the empty net and sealed the 3-1 victory for the Jets. Game stolen and another two points lost by the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks are making it a bad habit to lose these winnable games. Especially a game where you hold a 22-2 shot lead. There is no excuse to lose that game. However, hats off to Jets goalie Al Montoya for an incredible effort and for finding a way to keep his team in it for 60 minutes.
01:21 CHI GOAL: Brandon Bollig (6) assisted by Ben Smith and Marcus Kruger
08:16 WPG GOAL: Blake Wheeler (20) assisted by Evander Kane and Brad Stuart
12:53 WPG GOAL: Andrew Ladd (12) unassisted
18:45 WPG-ENG: Blake Wheeler 2 (21) assisted by Tobias Enstrom
Here are some notes from the game:
- Al Montoya stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced as he picked up the win for the Jets. Montoya was spectacular throughout the game and was the biggest reason for the Jets' victory.
- Corey Crawford allowed two goals on 20 shots and despite coming up with some big saves of his own, it wasn't enough to get the win.
- Jets forward Blake Wheeler now has three goals over his last two games. He has 10 points over his last seven games.
- Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell was a healthy scratch, while defenseman Michael Kostka tried to fill in for him. The Blackhawks could be buyers at the trade deadline in search of a player to replace Bickell.
NEXT GAME: Tuesday, January 28 @ Calgary Flames. 8:30 CT start.
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