Penalty-Filled Loss Extends Chicago Blackhawks’ Road Skid to 14 Games

Newark, New Jersey – The Chicago Blackhawks continued their road skid, losing their 14th consecutive game after a penalty-filled 4-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Here are 10 key takeaways from the game:

1. In the first period, Connor Bedard of the Blackhawks took a hard hit from Brendan Smith of the Devils, causing him to leave the game with a mouth injury. Although it was a clean hit, the Blackhawks responded with aggressiveness, led by Philipp Kurashev and Nick Foligno, who both received roughing penalties. The hit sparked chaos and intensity.

2. Penalties dominated the game, totaling 64 minutes between the two teams. Chicago had 38 penalty minutes, while New Jersey had 26. The game featured numerous scrums and was highly entertaining for fans.

3. Nick Foligno spent significant time in the penalty box, engaging in a fight with Brendan Smith in the second period. Despite his efforts, Foligno didn’t return to the ice after the fight, as the Blackhawks announced he would be sidelined for the rest of the game.

4. After Bedard’s injury, Connor Murphy delivered a big hit on Nico Hischier, the Devils’ captain. Surprisingly, Murphy didn’t receive a penalty for the hit. Hischier briefly left the game but returned in the second period. The hit can be seen as Murphy seeking revenge against the Devils for targeting Bedard.

5. With Bedard out, the Blackhawks needed scoring contributions from various players. Jason Dickinson capitalized on a power play opportunity to give Chicago a 1-0 lead, and Boris Katchouk added a shorthanded goal in the second period. Katchouk’s celebration, in which he taunted the New Jersey crowd, added to the intensity of the game.

6. The Devils boast the best power-play percentage in the league this season at 30.6%. Prior to their game against New Jersey, the Blackhawks had given up at least one power-play goal in 15 consecutive road games. However, they managed to successfully kill off all penalties in this matchup, including a shorthanded goal.

7. Arvid Söderblom stood out as one of the best players for the Blackhawks, showing continued strong performances. Although he allowed a game-tying goal in the third period, he was solid overall.

8. The defensive pairing of Kevin Korchinski and Nikita Zaitsev struggled throughout the game. When they were on the ice together at even strength, the Devils had 13 scoring chances compared to the Blackhawks’ one. Additionally, Chicago was outscored 3-0 during that time.

9. The Blackhawks’ struggles in the second game of back-to-back matchups continued, as they fell to 0-7-0 in such games. However, they have a better record in the first game, standing at 3-4-0.

10. Six Blackhawks prospects participated in the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship, with four players (Gavin Hayes, Oliver Moore, Frank Nazar, and Sam Rinzel) winning a gold medal with Team USA. Adam Gajan and Martin Misiak also performed well for Slovakia, despite not medaling.

In conclusion, the Chicago Blackhawks extended their road losing streak to 14 games after a penalty-filled loss to the New Jersey Devils. The game was marked by intense physicality, numerous penalties, and standout performances from individual players. The Blackhawks continue to face challenges in back-to-back games but can take solace in the success of their prospects at the World Junior Championship.