Winnipeg Jets vs. Chicago Blackhawks Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 2nd 2023


The Winnipeg Jets will try to avoid a fourth straight loss when they play host to their Central Division-rival Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

The Jets have lost back-to-back games to open a four-game homestand and three straight overall dating back to Sunday.

Winnipeg’s most recent loss was a 3-1 decision to the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.

“Our biggest problem tonight was faceoffs; they killed us in the faceoff circle, so you’re chasing them all the time,” Jets coach Rick Bowness said Thursday. “They were winning so many faceoffs, we end up chasing. Pretty much the whole game we’re chasing them, so that’s an issue.”

Left winger Kyler Connor leads all Jets skaters with 14 goals and 24 points through 22 games, while center Mark Scheifele has a team-leading 17 assists and is tied with Connor at 24 points in 22 games.

Jets forward Cole Perfetti has points in four of his last five games, and defenseman Josh Morrissey has three goals in his last six games.

Defenseman Declan Chisholm will make his season debut for the Jets on Saturday in place of Nate Schmidt. Center Vladislav Namestnikov, who came away with a lower-body injury in the loss to the Oilers, will not play against the Blackhkawks.

Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is 10-6-1 with a 2.58 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage in 17 games this season.

Winnipeg is 6-5-1 on home ice and has a 12-point cushion on last-place Chicago in the Central Division standings.

The Blackhawks opened a three-game road trip with a 5-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

“We’re not doing anything right,” said Blackhawks center Tyler Johnson. “It’s a privilege to be out there, and this is embarrassing.”

Chicago is 2-7-0 since Nov. 12 and 4-8-0 on the road this season.

“Right now, after every loss, we rebound pretty good. I give the guys credit for playing hard and rebounding, but it’s at the point of the season where we’ve got to try and make some ground,” said Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson. “Making ground means, not always in the standings, but in our own play. We have to be consistent and haven’t done that yet this year.

“That’s the one thing we have to work on. We’re on the road; we can play simple and try and hard work the other team into the ground and, hopefully, get a few bounces.”

Blackhawks center Connor Bedard leads the team in goals (10) and points (18) through 21 games this season. Bedard was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for November on Friday after leading all rookies with six goals and 12 points in 12 games.

Bedard enters Saturday’s contest riding a seven-game road point streak — the 18-year-old has seven goals and four assists during the streak.

Chicago center Jason Dickinson has five goals in his last five games, while defenseman Isaak Phillips has three assists over his last five games.

Goaltender Petr Mrazek is 5-7-0 with a 3.37 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage in 13 games this season.

–Field Level Media

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