CHICAGO – It took them over 15 minutes to get a shot on goal, but a goal later followed from Connor Bedard. He’d get the big one though in overtime helping the Blackhawks to a 2-1 overtime win.
Bedard opened the scoring with his 14th of the season, a gritty effort that saw him get three shots on goal that finally found the back of the net. If not for Petr Mrazek, they likely would have been chasing a significant deficit. He then buried the overtime winner after the Blackhawks failed to convert on a three-on-one chance in the extra frame.
Bedard wasn’t missing his shot, though.
“I mean, most things are kind of instinct, but I just saw a lane and I’m in the middle of the ice,” Bedard said. “So I thought I’d shoot the puck and try to hit a spot. And fortunately, it went.”
Winnipeg got on the board off a Morgan Barron goal that found its way through Mrazek and evened the score at one. From there, the Blackhawks fended off one Winnipeg attack after another.
Chicago turned up the pressure in the third though with chances from Lukas Reichel and a point blank chance from Beauvillier that Connor Hellebuyck snagged. They hung on to kill a penalty with 2:56 left in the game and then finished it off in overtime.
Mrazek Masterful Again
What more can the Blackhawks ask for from Mrazek? In a heavily contested first period, Mrazek was brilliant, fending off one chance after another from the Jets. A 37-save effort stifled the Jets, with some help at times from the post and crossbar.
But Mrazek was clutch for a team that has struggled to score goals this season, and he kept them in one that likely couldn’t have gotten out of control.
His key to such a great season so far?
“Just be healthy,” Mrazek said. “That’s No. 1 thing and we talked about it earlier as well. When I feel good, I know I can play the game how I want to play. Things we’re doing with (Blackhawks goalie coach) Jimmy [Waite] on the ice during practices helps. That gets you a lot of confidence.”
Confidence and wins they need. They got them both Wednesday night.