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Jan 10, 2024 9:58 pm

Jets seek franchise-record 8th straight win vs. Blackhawks

The Winnipeg Jets can set a franchise record with their eighth straight win when they face the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

The Jets are also riding a 13-game point streak (11-0-2), which includes a 2-1 overtime loss to the Blackhawks on Dec. 27.

The hot streak has given Winnipeg a league-leading 58 points.

“Being on top of the standings, we’re going to get every team’s A-game,” said Jets forward Cole Perfetti, who has scored in each of the past three games. “We can’t take a night off or a team jumps you in the conference, or in the division.”

The Jets have been difficult to score against, allowing two goals or fewer in the past 10 games and three or fewer in the past 30, which is the sixth-longest streak in NHL history.

Connor Hellebuyck had 29 saves in a 5-0 win against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, improving to 11-0-2 in his past 13 games, which marks the longest unbeaten streak for a goalie in team history.

“Everyone is laying out, blocking shots, sacrificing ice time here or there, playing up and down the lineup,” Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon said. “We’re not focusing on who is scoring the goals or how we are getting it done. We are just finding different ways to win every night.”

Other teams are beginning to notice.

“That’s a team that’s going for the Cup,” Columbus forward Justin Danforth said. “They don’t make many mistakes on the ice. They clog the middle of the ice, they backcheck, forecheck our (defense), they finish hits, block shots. That’s probably one of the better teams we’ve played all year.”

The Blackhawks are just 1-5-1 in their past seven games, but their biggest loss came last Friday against the New Jersey Devils, when prized rookie Connor Bedard suffered a broken jaw after taking a hit from Devils defenseman Brendan Smith in the 4-2 loss.

Chicago announced on Wednesday that Bedard had surgery to repair the fracture and will be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

“He’ll have protection on for a while once he comes back, but he’s a guy that’s probably already talking about trying to get on the ice,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. “He’s the type of guy who wants back out there. Once something like that heals enough, he’ll be out on the ice skating. He just won’t be able to take contact for a while.”

The Blackhawks also lost forward Nick Foligno to a broken finger, likely caused during his fight with Smith following the injury to Bedard. There is no timeline for his return.

The Blackhawks took forwards Joey Anderson (shoulder) and Taylor Raddysh (groin) off injured reserve prior to a 2-1 loss to the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

Anderson, who had missed the previous 10 games, played 13:59 against the Oilers. Raddysh, who had missed the previous five games, played 18:26.

Rem Pitlick, another forward, made his team debut for the Blackhawks after he was acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

Pitlick had two shots on goal in 18:48 of ice time.

–Field Level Media

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