Blackhawks Score 5 Straight To Down Jets 5-1
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Brandon Bollig, Patrick Sharp and Nick Leddy scored within a 4:55 span in the second period to lead Chicago to a 5-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday that extended the Blackhawks’ winning streak to three games.
Goalie Corey Crawford stopped 26 shots to pick up his eighth win of the season and Chicago also got goals from Niklas Hjalmarsson and Ben Smith.
Marcus Kruger had a pair of assists, and Leddy and Bollig also picked up an assist each for the Blackhawks, who are 4-1-1 on the road.
Defenseman Tobias Enstrom scored for the Jets, losers of three straight.
It was the Jets’ biggest margin of defeat this season. They had lost 4-1 to Dallas Oct. 11.
Ondrej Pavelec started in net for Winnipeg, but was replaced by Al Montoya after Leddy’s goal at 5:49 of the second made it three in a row. Pavelec had stopped 10 of 14 shots at that point.
Montoya faced 11 shots in his stint.
Winnipeg started off on a high note when Enstrom blasted a shot from between the blue line and top of the circle that went through some traffic and past Crawford at 5:08 of the first period.
Earlier in the week, Enstrom revealed that he had told Team Sweden he wouldn’t suit up for the squad if asked to play in next year’s Olympic Games because he wanted to focus on playing well for the Jets.
Hjalmarsson spoiled what looked like a successful penalty kill for Winnipeg. Fans had just given the Jets a standing ovation for killing off a 21-second two-man advantage, but just 1 second after the final penalty expired, Hjalmarrson fired a high shot from just inside the blue line that went by players and into the net at 9:58.
Chicago had a bit of a scare with 65 seconds left in the first when Crawford moved out of his net and was knocked down by Blake Wheeler, who was coming in fast with the puck.
Crawford was slow to get up, but remained in the game. While he was getting looked at, the Jumbotron zoomed in on Blackhawks backup goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on the bench and a message flashed welcoming him back to Winnipeg.
Chanting “Habby, Habby,” fans stood to give Khabibulin a standing ovation, which he recognized with a wave of his glove from the bench. The netminder played for the Jets in their last 1996 game.
Chicago stretched its lead to 4-1 with a trio of goals in the first six minutes of the second period.
Bollig scored 54 seconds into the period on a shot from the top of the face-off circle. Sharp deked in front of Pavelec on a breakaway and fired a low shot on the glove side at 2:41 and Leddy’s point shot went past a screened Pavelec at 5:49.
Patrick Kane almost added to Chicago’s lead early in the third period when he was given a penalty shot after being hooked by Jets defenseman Grant Clitsome during a breakaway.
Kane’s backhand shot went high past Montoya, but it hit the crossbar and bounced out.
Smith made it 5-1 when he redirected a shot from the boards by Bollig at 9:13 of the third.
The game marked Chicago’s first return to Winnipeg since 1996, when the original Jets moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes.
There were a number of fans wearing Blackhawks jerseys, including some bearing the name of Jonathan Toews. The captain was born in Winnipeg, along with Sharp and Duncan Keith.
Toews, who had a natural hat trick in his team’s 6-5 win Tuesday over Ottawa, didn’t pick up any points in the victory.
Winnipeg hosts Detroit on Monday and travels to Chicago for a Wednesday game.
NOTES: The Jets claimed Los Angeles Kings defenseman Keaton Ellerby off waivers earlier in the day. Winnipeg has three injured blue-liners; Mark Stuart, Jacob Trouba and Paul Postma. … The Blackhawks visit the White House on Monday to be recognized by President Barack Obama for their Cup title. … Jets forward Michael Frolik won the Cup with Chicago last year, while Winnipeg captain Andrew Ladd and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien have championship rings from Chicago’s 2010 title.
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