Chicago Blackhawks enjoy ‘first happy plane ride’ since November after finally sending their road winless streak packing

The Chicago Blackhawks needed a higher power — or at least a highly efficient power play — to break their accursed 22-game road winless streak.

The Hawks scored four goals with a man advantage — courtesy of Seth Jones, Nick Foligno, Jason Dickinson and Philipp Kurashev — during a 5-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night in Tempe, Ariz.

After Monday’s 5-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche that matched the franchise-worst road streak, the Hawks looked defeated during postgame interviews.

But they bounced back — in the second leg of a back-to-back, no less — and booted that particular monkey off their backs, one that had been clinging to them since their last road win Nov. 9 at Tampa Bay.

“Oh, my god, that was a long time,” said Connor Bedard, who had two assists. “You’re trying not to think about it much, but it was a pretty crazy stretch there. So it’s nice that that’s over.”

And it’s crazy that the win — which also snapped a seven-game overall winless streak — came via the power play.

This is the same team that scraped together only four power-play goals in all of February. Same in January. And the same team that slinked into Mullett Arena carrying the league’s worst power play (12.7%).

But the puck movement was better, said Jones, who capped off the night with an empty-netter.

“We weren’t stickhandling, passing, stickhandle, pass,” he said. “It was bang, bang, bang, one-touching to each other. And that’s when it ends up in the back of the net.”

The Coyotes gave the Hawks five chances — and that’s low for them. They average 11.9 per game, third-worst in the NHL. And the Arizona penalty kill is actually worse at home: 76.1%, which ranks 23rd.

When Jones’ first-period blast redirected off Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher’s stick past goalie Connor Ingram, that was your first inkling it was probably the Hawks’ night (and that there might be some divine intervention).

“They weren’t pressuring very much,” Jones said of the Coyotes penalty kill. “So even on the draws, I was just walking across and trying to get something through. They weren’t pushing near as hard as Colorado was.”

Jones’ strike was both the Hawks’ first five-on-three goal this season and their first power-play goal by a defenseman. But that’s window dressing for a unit that needed to find ways to score any way it could.

More than just a jolt to the power play, the Hawks looked as good as they have all season making tape-to-tape passes, minimizing turnovers and dominating puck battles.

Arvid Söderblom turned in the performance of his career: 37 saves on 39 shots and his first win since Nov. 24 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“It was nice to finally get a win,” he said. “I felt like I’ve been close a couple of times, but … it was nice to get all the way this time.

“It was a fun game to play too. A lot of shots, a lot of situations for me.”

Söderblom made a highlight save off a two-on-one, sliding over to glove Clayton Keller’s one-timer from Logan Cooley.

“I tried to come out, take away the shooting option,” Söderblom said. “(Cooley) made the pass over and I tried to be as quick as possible over there and have the glove ready.”

Bedard said Söderblom “was our best player tonight and it’s good to see him get a win.”

There were more gold stars to hand out. Kevin Korchinski made a heady pass to Dickinson for a one-timer on his goal. Tyler Johnson had three assists.

A night after Hawks players said they felt disconnected against the Avs, that connection was restored.

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“We did a much better job of just playing together as a unit of five out there,” Jones said. “Our changes were much better tonight. We got pucks and we didn’t turn a lot of pucks over in the neutral zone and feed their transition.

“We just played a north-south game. Didn’t really mess around with it too much.”

The Hawks have had plenty of close losses, so it’s not surprising coach Luke Richardson felt they deserved this win.

“All 20 guys, that was a team win,” he said. “They were really focused.”

Let the front office focus on a high draft pick this summer. The players know that’s none of their business.

A free fall on the ice doesn’t serve the present-day morale or the long-term good, and that’s where the Hawks were before this win.

“We talked a little bit this morning about the direction that we want to go in in our last 20 games,” Richardson said, “and it’s only going to be us in the room that can change that. And I thought that was a good first step.”

Leave it to the NHL’s 18-year-old starchild to see the greater scheme.

“It feels good for sure (but) it’s one win,” Bedard said. “In a long season it’s not huge, but every one’s big. Especially with the streak we’ve been on lately, it’s really nice to get the couple points and have some positivity and the first happy plane ride we’ve had in a little bit.”