Fresh off a one-goal victory at the Dallas Stars on Thursday, Winnipeg didn't get into the Windy City until early Friday. Facing the well-rested Blackhawks, who hadn't played the previous four days, even Jets coach Paul Maurice had his doubts.
The Jets didn't, and that's all the mattered in a 4-2 win that further frustrated the Blackhawks (28-14-2).
"We play on energy, and I can't imagine [we] had any," Maurice said. "We won a game in Dallas [Thursday] night, and it was the quietest bus I've ever heard. You'd have thought we lost Game 7. Just great leadership in the locker room. They found a way to get themselves up and ready to play."
The Blackhawks were ready for revenge after losing to the Jets 1-0 on Nov. 2 and 5-1 on Dec. 23. They made it 1-0 on a goal by Brandon Saad 53 seconds into the game, but couldn't build off the early momentum.
Winnipeg (24-14-8) kept grinding and swept its third back-to-back set of the season to extend its winning streak to three games and leave Chicago victorious once again. The remaining two games in the season series between the Central Division foes will be at MTS Centre.
"They seem to bring the best out of us," Jets forward Andrew Ladd said of the Blackhawks, his former team. "We know coming in here that it's going to be a challenge and that if you give them time and space to make plays, they can pick you apart. Maybe that gives us some urgency to get moving and get on them. We definitely seem to be able to do that."
Ladd assisted on Winnipeg's first goal, scored by defenseman Zach Bogosian at 10:46 of the first to tie it 1-1, and scored into an empty net to seal it in the third.
Little and Bogosian had assists for two-point games. Forward Blake Wheeler and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who played for the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-winning team in 2010, each had two assists for the Jets, who lost forward Mathieu Perreault to an upper-body injury late in the second period.
Blackhawks rookie forward Teuvo Teravainen scored the first goal of his NHL career at 12:43 of the third to make it 3-2.
Hutchinson improved to 3-0-0 against the Blackhawks with a 1.00 goals-against average and .971 save percentage. He has allowed three goals on 105 shots in those outings.
"I don't think it was easy in the net for him tonight, because by the time it got to him, there were lots of legs and there were people swinging at pucks," Maurice said. "Nobody could get a handle on [anything]. Especially after the first one early [by Saad], he and the team just fought through it."
Corey Crawford made 31 saves and fell to 0-3-0 against Winnipeg this season.
"I don't know if I'm disappointed," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we were better than the first two games against them here. I thought we were more competitive and had some good chances to score. Their goalie made some key saves."
One that Hutchinson didn't save was Saad's less than a minute into the game. Scored with a backhand from the right circle, the goal could've signaled a bad night for the Jets. Instead, Bogosian tied it 1-1 almost 10 minutes later with his third goal.
Physical play highlighted the opening period. The Jets and Blackhawks spent a combined 36 minutes in the penalty box in the first and racked up 48 penalty minutes in the game.
Neither team scored in the second, but more rough play at the end of the period knocked Perreault from the game. After he and Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith exchanged slashes, Keith gave Perreault a shove near the boards. Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo then cross-checked Perreault in his left arm.
Perreault, who didn't see the crosscheck coming, didn't return. Carcillo and Winnipeg center Mark Scheifele got matching cross-checking minors, which carried over to the third.
The stalemate continued until a holding penalty on Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw at 8:56 of the third led to Little's goal. After heading to the back side of the crease, Little tapped in a feed from Bogosian at 9:31 for the go-ahead goal.
Thorburn tipped a shot by Adam Lowry past Crawford at even strength 28 seconds later to make it 3-1. The goal turned out to be the game-winner because of Teravainen's goal with 7:17 left in regulation.
The rookie's first goal gave the Blackhawks a boost, but it wasn't enough.
"It's a nice feeling, of course," Teravainen said of his first NHL point. "First goal. I've been waiting. It's, of course, good to get the first one. I'm happy with that, but I'm not happy that we lost and we just couldn't win this tight game."