5 takeaways from the Chicago Blackhawks’ 21st straight road loss — despite Connor Bedard’s 3 points

Nick Foligno acknowledged this season is a “year of lessons” for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Lesson 1: You can’t play on your heels against a team like the Carolina Hurricanes, or you’ll blink and find yourself down 4-0 like the Hawks did in the second period Monday.

Lesson 2: Connor Bedard can seemingly turn it on anytime he wants to. He scored a third-period goal and had two assists.

Lesson 3: Bedard and company — including Philipp Kurashev, becoming quite the Robin to Bedard’s Batman — can overcome only so much, as a third-period rally fell short in a 6-3 loss at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.

“We’re overthinking too much,” Foligno said after the game. “When you get a team like them, who just come at you, you get caught if you’re overthinking. You look slow, you look lethargic.”

Foligno said the team talked it over between the late second and early third periods, “where we said let’s forget all about that and just go play.” The Hawks bounced back with a goal by Foligno and power-play goals by Bedard and Tyler Johnson in the third.

“It’s a good lesson for us,” Foligno said. “This is just a year of lessons. Let’s be honest, it is.

“It sucks saying but we’re going to have to go through it as a group and just understand that there’s a way you’re going to have to compete and play, where you’ve got to think but you also have to use your instincts. Sometimes we overthink and our instincts get shunned away a little bit, and that cost us the game.”

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Coach Luke Richardson said the Hawks “just had trouble handling their speed.”

“They come at you and we know that they come at you all the time with four lines,” Richardson said. “Their (defensemen) press. We just didn’t handle it well.

“We really didn’t have the puck hardly at all the first half of the game, so it’s hard to create anything offensively and way too much energy wasted defensively.”

With their 21st straight road loss (in regulation or overtime), the Hawks drew within a game of a franchise-record 22-game road winless streak.

“Our game plan is to win every game, whether it’s home or on the road,” Richardson said. “Unfortunately the other team gets more of a matchup (referring to strategic advantages like last change). Obviously we’re doing a little better at home maybe with the matchups, so we’ve got to work through that because we don’t have any control of that on the road.”

Bedard had a goal overturned for the second game in a row because of an offside challenge, as he did in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.

“Connor’s line did really well,” Richardson said. “Even the goal (that was) called back, it’s some momentum.

“The momentum got us some power plays and the power plays did well in the third period for us.”

Bedard’s three points gave him his eighth multipoint game, passing Eddie Olczyk for the most by an 18-year-old in franchise history, according to NHL Stats.

Here are five takeaways from the loss.

1. Two goals, two spin-o-rama moves and Connor Bedard was at the center of both.

On Foligno’s goal in the second period, Brent Burns flubbed a rim-around. Bedard seized the puck and found Foligno at the hash. Foligno spun and fired a backhander that surprised Hurricanes goalie Spencer Martin.

On Bedard’s goal in the third, Johnson dished from below the goal line to Kurashev, who whirled around in the crease on a backhand pass to Bedard.

Bedard had a wide-open net and flicked in just the second power-play goal of his career.

Bedard made an impression on the Hurricanes.

“He’s quick. Very quick. Skilled,” Sebastian Aho said. “Already knew he has an elite release. He’s for sure going to be a very good player for a long time in this league.”

Rod Brind’Amour added: “Very dynamic. I thought we did a nice job on him and he still gets on the scoresheet.

“He’s going to be a heck of a player in this league. He’s super-skilled, knows how to get his ice, knows how to find his teammates. Whoever gets to play with him is pretty fortunate.”

2. Possession is nine-tenths of the law (of hockey).

The Hawks haven’t faced many forechecks like Carolina’s. The Hurricanes spend 46.6% of their even-strength time in the offensive zone, which places them in the 99th percentile.

Conversely, the Hawks spend about 43% of their time in the defensive zone — the league average is 40.8%.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise the Hurricanes dominated possession from the outset, including an appalling 87% Corsi-for percentage at even strength in the first period.

“They were doing that a lot to us in the first period, where they do it automatic straight to the middle,” Richardson said.

That’s what happened on Michael Bunting’s opening goal when Jarred Tinordi and Louis Crevier drifted out of position.

Martin Nečas lured Tinordi into no man’s land, with Tinordi leaving the net front to chase Nečas below the goal line — just as Nečas sneaked a pass up to Bunting for a backhander from the net front.

“We’ve got to get there when the puck arrives to the man behind the net, for Tinordi, or hold that line so it doesn’t go through you to the net front,” Richardson said. “The guy’s not going to score behind the net. But your instinct as a defenseman is to hit and pin.

“Unfortunately that puck trickled through and Petr (Mrázek) had no chance on it.”

3. Lukas Reichel must recapture his magic in Rockford.

The Hawks tried scratching Reichel for a couple of games — just like they did earlier this winter. They tried going over video of his past highlights.

Nothing was working. Richardson said general manager Kyle Davidson made the call to send Reichel to Rockford.

“We can only do so much battle drills in practice, and it really is not going to translate 100% to the games,” Richardson said. “We need him to get into the games to try what we’re working on in practice.”

Reichel has struggled with puck possession and finding his shot.

Last season he split four games with the Hawks between December and January before being reassigned to Rockford. With the IceHogs, he had a run of two goals and three assists in six games in late February, shortly before the Hawks recalled him in March.

Reichel put up six goals and six assists in his final 19 games for the Hawks.

“It worked really well for him last year,” Richardson said, “and we just think that (for) him to go down and get some confidence and a high volume of reps … that’s going to help him, and then hopefully he can find his game.”

4. They’re the two best friends that anyone could have.

As scorer or helper, Bedard and Kurashev have teamed up on 19 goals — including Kurashev’s assist on Bedard’s power-play goal Monday.

Even though not every instance results in a puck in the net, it’s easy to see a marked difference in the quality of chances that duo has created since Bedard’s return from injury. The veteran Foligno also has factored into that mix.

“I think the best chemistry, in my experiences, (are when you have) people you just like talking hockey to, and we’re good friends,” Bedard said before the game. “I think that adds a lot to it, the off-ice aspect. But we’re still growing.”

5. The Hawks welcomed back another forward.

Anthony Beauvillier couldn’t have picked a more formidable opponent to make his comeback from a left wrist injury.

“They come after you,” he said. “It’s tough to break out against them. Their (defensemen) are on top of you every time. They are connected when they forecheck, so it makes it hard to actually break out.”

Beauvillier, who missed 18 games, played 16 minutes in his return, manning left wing on the second line with Jason Dickinson and Joey Anderson

“Little rusty to start, but legs felt good,” Beauvillier said. “It’s fast out there and it’s a tough team to play against. First one’s behind me now, so I can only look forward.”