The Chicago Blackhawks edged the New York Islanders 4-3 in an overtime thriller on Friday night. Defenseman Seth Jones scored the game-winning goal at 3:29 of the extra period to give the Blackhawks their fifth win in six games.
Heroics From Jones Keep Blackhawks Rolling
Jones’ first goal of the season was a clutch one, as he joined the rush and fired a shot over Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin’s shoulder to secure the comeback victory. The Blackhawks had trailed 3-2 late in the third period before Jason Dickinson tied it with just over five minutes remaining to force overtime.
The win is Chicago’s third straight and improves their record to 18-21-4 on the season. While the Blackhawks remain near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, they have found ways to win games despite injuries to key players. Head coach Luke Richardson praised his team’s compete level and resilience after the emotional win.
“I’m proud of the guys. We battled through adversity and kept plugging away,” Richardson said. “Seth came up huge for us. This team never quits.”
Sorokin was stellar in net for New York, stopping 37 of 41 shots. But the Islanders could not protect a late lead, continuing their struggles of late. New York is now 0-3-1 in their last four games and have dropped five straight on the road.
| NYI | Pulock | Barzal | Dobson | 1 | 10:11
| NYI | Beauvillier | | | 1 | 14:22
| CHI | Athanasiou | McCabe | Kurashev | 2 | 15:33
| CHI | Toews | Kane | Jones | 3 | 11:22
| NYI | Pageau | Dobson | Barzal | 3 | 14:50
| CHI | Dickinson | Kane | Kurashev | 3 | 18:55
| CHI | Jones | Kane | DeBrincat | OT | 3:29
Offense Comes Alive Late For Chicago
The first period belonged to New York, who raced out to a 2-0 lead behind goals from defenseman Ryan Pulock and forward Anthony Beauvillier. Chicago was outshot 15-7 in the opening frame and struggled to generate quality chances.
But the Blackhawks offense finally broke through in the second period, cutting the Islanders’ lead in half on Andreas Athanasiou’s 15th goal of the year. Captain Jonathan Toews then tied things up in the third with his 14th, set up nicely by Patrick Kane and Jones.
Kane’s three assists give him 1,220 career points, passing Stan Mikita for second place on the Blackhawks’ all-time scoring list. The star winger continues to produce at age 35, as he seeks his 10th career 90+ point season.
Toews spoke about the emotional lift Kane provides for the club. “He’s amazing. Every time he touches the puck, you think something special could happen,” Toews said.
New York briefly went back ahead late in regulation when Jean-Gabriel Pageau finished off a beautiful passing sequence. But Dickinson responded just over two minutes later, deflecting a shot from the point to make it 3-3. That set the stage for Jones’ extra period theatrics, as Chicago’s emerging blue liner went coast-to-coast before sniping the game-winner.
The Blackhawks now embark on a two-game road trip against Central Division opponents. First up is a Sunday night matchup with the Winnipeg Jets, followed by a Tuesday tilt versus the Nashville Predators.
While not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention yet, Chicago remains a long shot to qualify for the postseason. However, the recent run of inspired play suggests this young group will continue to battle.
Meanwhile, the struggling Islanders continue their road trip Saturday night against the Dallas Stars. New York currently sits second-to-last in the Metropolitan Division, already 12 points out of a playoff spot at the midway mark. With the trade deadline six weeks away, GM Lou Lamoriello will have some difficult decisions to make on the direction of his franchise.
If the Islanders fall further out of contention, Lamoriello could look to sell off veteran pieces and retool on the fly around cornerstones Mathew Barzal and Ilya Sorokin. Names like Josh Bailey, Zach Parise, and Semyon Varlamov may surface in trade rumors if New York slips in the standings over the next month.
One thing is clear – Friday’s loss to Chicago only turns up the heat on the Islanders front office to right the ship. If not, it could be a long final 30 games for a team that reached the conference finals two years ago.
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