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10 observations: Blackhawks fall to Blue Jackets as winless skid hits 6 games

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Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The Chicago Blackhawks' winless skid reached six games after they fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Saturday at the United Center.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. There was some ugly hockey being played at times, which shouldn't have been a surprise between two of the bottom-four teams in the league. I don't think either of these teams were expecting to be this bad again.

2. Seth Jones had a tough game, and it started on the first shift when he mishandled the puck in his own zone, which led to Columbus scoring 33 seconds into the game. He also committed two penalties. I don't want to pile on, but it's a game he'll want to flush down the toilet.

3. The Blackhawks had three power plays after having only two in the previous two games combined. They went 0-for-3, and the first one was pretty disastrous. They had some better looks later on but couldn't capitalize.

4. Connor Bedard had a scare in the second period after taking a shot off the leg. Columbus scored seconds later, and Bedard skated to the bench hunched over and in some pain. Fortunately for the Blackhawks, he didn't miss a shift.

5. Arvid Söderblom might never win a game again, huh? It probably feels that way for him. He fell to 0-12-1 in his last 13 starts and hasn't won a game since Nov. 24, which was more than three months ago. The good news is, he'll likely get another crack on Tuesday in Arizona with it being a back-to-back.

6. Ryan Donato was promoted to the first line with Bedard and Philipp Kurashev. That trio hasn't been together in a long time, but they're surprisingly effective as a unit. Going into the day, the Blackhawks had a +3 goal differential when the three of them were on the ice together during 5-on-5 action in more than 153 minutes of ice time, per Natural Stat Trick.

They teamed up for both of Chicago's goals, the first being Kurashev and the second was Donato, who also had a Grade A scoring chance in the second period but was denied.

7. Believe it or not, this was the first game back at the United Center for Alex Nylander since he was traded by Chicago in January 2022 for Sam Lafferty. Pittsburgh recently traded him to Columbus. Bedard knocked him off the puck pretty easily in the first period, which led to Donato's goal. That looked familiar.

8. Jarred Tinordi did not participate in the team's morning skate for maintenance reasons. Isaak Phillips drew into the lineup and skated on the third pairing with Louis Crevier, who saved a sure goal in the first period.

9. Blue Jackets No. 3 overall selection Adam Fantilli didn't play in this game because of a calf laceration. He's been out since Jan. 28. This would've been Fantilli's first NHL game in Chicago, where he played two seasons with the Steel in the USHL at Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva.

10. The Blackhawks will play the next three games on the road, where they're 0-20-1 in their last 21 games, which is a franchise record. Will it finally end on this trip? Tough one out of the gates in Colorado.

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