The good news for the Winnipeg Jets is that their points streak continued Wednesday night in Chicago.
The bad news is that, despite outplaying the Blackhawks for the bulk of the night, the Jets dropped a 2-1 overtime decision thanks to the heroics of Connor Bedard.
The Jets weren’t showing any signs of a turkey hangover to start the game, tilting the ice heavily in their favour in the opening minutes but without anything to show for it on the scoreboard.
That included a pair of abbreviated power play opportunities, the first of which ended after 55 seconds when Vladislav Namestnikov took a tripping penalty, the second of which lasted 1:43 when Philipp Kurashev tripped Mason Appleton shortly before Namestnikov’s penalty expired.
Winnipeg held Chicago without a shot on goal for the opening 14:56 of the period but about a minute after that first shot, the Blackhawks opened the scoring thanks to their superstar rookie.
After a failed zone exit by the Jets, Connor Murphy set up Bedard for a one-timer at the faceoff dot. The first shot was stopped so Bedard put the rebound on goal by putting his stick between his legs. That too was stopped but a third whack at the puck sent it past Connor Hellebuyck to make it 1-0 with just over four minutes to go in the first.
Winnipeg outshot the Blackhawks 13-5 in the opening period and continued to hold the edge in play, leading to the equalizer early in the second.
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Moments after Namestnikov hit the crossbar, Morgan Barron carried the puck into the Chicago zone and wired a wrister that beat Petr Mrazek five-hole to make it 1-1 3:47 into the middle frame.
Another Jets power play came and went without a shot on goal before the Blackhawks were given a controversial power play late in the second period.
As Adam Lowry drove the net, he attempted to deflect a pass from Mason Appleton but he was obstructed by Murphy, sending Lowry into Mrazek who was completely outside the crease. Lowry was called for goaltender interference on the play, drawing protests from the Jets as Chicago began the third with 1:49 of power play time.
The Jets killed it off but Chicago started to wrestle control of the game away from Winnipeg as Hellebuyck had to made several saves in the early portion of the third.
Winnipeg came close to taking the lead around the midway point when Dominic Toninato and Namestnikov each hit the post less than a minute apart, the fourth and fifth shots to strike iron on the night for the Jets.
Another great opportunity for the Jets came and went when they were given a fourth power play of the night with 2:56 to go but again Winnipeg couldn’t come through, sending the game to overtime.
After a chaotic two minutes of action, Bedard collected the puck in his own end, skated up the ice unimpeded and ripped a wrister past the glove of Hellebuyck from the high slot to ice the game for Chicago with his first career overtime winner.
Mrazek earned the win with 37 saves while Hellebuyck turned aside 23 shots in defeat as the Jets fall to 8-1-2 in December.
Winnipeg will host its annual Skills Competition at Canada Life Centre Thursday night before hosting Minnesota Saturday at 2 p.m.