WINNIPEG, Manitoba — The Blackhawks were right at home in the visitor’s locker room Sunday at Bell MTS Place, taking up residence for the second time in a week and third time this winter.
The script on the ice was, less humorously, also quite the same. A strong first period -dissolved into weak second and third periods and a gut-punch loss to the Jets, this time by a 3-2 score.
“It’s tough, it stings right now,” Patrick Kane said. “We talk about playing better in the second periods, we want to be a good second-period team. Just haven’t been able to do that much this year.
“You see a team like Winnipeg, they hang on to the puck, they control it, they make you take it off them instead of giving it away, and it’s been really successful against us.”
The Hawks will return from their season-long five-game road trip, which started in deja vu style with a blown 2-0 lead in a 5-2 loss to the Jets, having earned just two points with a 1-4-0 record.
The way it happened is even more difficult to swallow. They led in four of the five games and outshot the Canucks 49-20 in the other.
“No question, disappointing not to have more points from the trip,” Jeremy Colliton said. “Ultimately, we had three games that were acceptable and two that weren’t good enough. We need more than that to get the points we need.”
On Sunday, Kane kept the Hawks afloat for 40 minutes — he banked in a centering pass off Ryan Carpenter for the opener, then finished off a beautiful passing play with Jonathan Toews and Dominik Kubalik to tie the score at 2 late in the second period — but they couldn’t overcome an unfortunate moment in the third.
The Jets’ eventual winning goal deflected off Alex DeBrincat’s stick up high and floated over a rattled Corey Crawford, who immediately clamored for an interference call. -Colliton later said he didn’t feel there was enough evidence to warrant a challenge.
The game was the first in the NHL this season with zero penalty calls. Kane called the lack of power plays “pretty unrealistic.”