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THREE THINGS: Second Period, Lehner Strong and Back-End Boost

Three takeaways from Chicago's 3-2 OT loss to Winnipeg on Saturday night

by Chris Kuc @ChrisKuc /

The Blackhawks coughed up a two-goal lead and eventually fell to the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Saturday night at the United Center.

Brandon Saad and Brent Seabrook scored and Robin Lehner was solid in goal for the Blackhawks but it wasn't enough as Mark Scheifele won it 47 seconds into overtime for the Jets.

The loss was the third consecutive to start the season for the Blackhawks, though they did get their first point of the 2019-20 campaign.

"As I said to the team, we need to find a way to play with the style, the energy, the pace of the first 20 minutes. We need to extend that into 60 and then I think we'll be in good shape," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "(We are) disappointed, obviously, with the result. We wanted the two points and it's a divisional game. It's a mini-step forward but certainly sour."

Here are three takeways:


The Blackhawks habit of letting down in the second period continued for the third consecutive game. After dominating the Jets in the first and taking a 2-0 lead on Saad's shorthanded goal and Seabrook's on the power play, the Blackhawks let off the gas and Winnipeg seized momentum.

"It's been three in a row where we haven't been very good in the second period, and to me that's where you show how good you are," Colliton said. "The best teams, they dominate the second period, and so it's a point of emphasis for us. We'd like to control the tempo of the game and control the territory, out-chance the other team. That's where you show how good you are, so we're not close to where we want to be in that area."

The Jets out-shot the Blackhawks 11-6 in the second and cut the deficit to 2-1 on Nikolaj Ehlers' power play goal.

"I think you can focus on the turnovers," Saad said of the second-period letdown. "It's something where in the first we were simple, we got pucks deep and we had success. The minute we turn it over - they have a ton of skill over there and they're going to make plays - they had a lot more zone time and it's a lot harder to play defensive zone coverage then try to get on the offense. For us, it's just making simple plays."

Lehner agreed that simple plays have eluded the Blackhawks in the second periods of games.

"When we're in some pressure and things are not going our way, we just have to fall back, play simple (and) help each other out," Lehner said. "We have to support each other a little better. I thought it was two really good periods (with) the second, not so good. (We need to) clean up some details and we'll be fine."

Video: Blackhawks fall to Jets in OT 


Lehner made his Blackhawks debut in goal and made 30 saves in a losing effort. The veteran, who signed a one-year, $5 million free-agent deal July 1 after spending last season with the Islanders, made several acrobatic saves, including robbing Scheifele from in close with a sprawling, pad-stacking stop late in the second period.

"I felt good," Lehner said. "I felt like I saw the puck well (and) I thought rebound control was good. The first (goal) is unfortunate, it squeaks through. But I was where I wanted to be in position and somehow it goes in. I have to try to clean that up. And the third goal, it just dove on me. (Scheifele) missed his shot. It's unfortunate. But I thought I made some good saves and felt comfortable. We got a point, which is something, but we should have gotten a win."

Colliton was pleased with the effort from Lehner, who served as Corey Crawford's backup during the first two games of the season.

"(Lehner) made some big saves for us," Colliton said. "He's a big presence back there. Covers a lot of the net. He was good."

Video: WPG@CHI: Lehner knocks down Scheifele's wide-open try


Defenseman Calvin de Haan played his first game with the Blackhawks after missing the previous two games with a groin injury. Paired with Erik Gustafsson, de Haan had 18 minutes, 3 seconds of ice time and finished with three blocks, three hits and a shot on goal. The defenseman was also a standout on a Blackhawks penalty kill that allowed one goal in four Jets power plays.

"I liked him," Colliton said. "He's a steady presence back there (and) makes a lot of simple plays. He's calm, he's under control and we need more of that."

After being acquired by the Blackhawks via a trade with the Hurricanes in late-June, de Haan first had to recover from shoulder surgery and then a groin injury that lingered.

Now that he's back, de Haan said he wanted to "do my best to play Calvin de Haan hockey."

Which is what, exactly?

"It's not the sexiest thing out there but just try to keep it simple and defend hard and just try to be tough on the skilled guys on their team and try and take time and space away," de Haan said. "Be physical. It's not about crushing guys anymore and fighting, all that kind of stuff, but being tough in the corners and in front of the net. That's still fair game."

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