WINNIPEG – Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa scored 26 seconds apart late in the second period to help the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-0 win over the Jets at MTS Centre.
Chicago goaltender Scott Darling made 28 saves for the shutout – his first of the season.
Thomas Fleischmann and former Jet Andrew Ladd rounded out the scoring for the Hawks, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
“When you play a team that’s built like they are, how the possession changes is the key piece,” Head Coach Paul Maurice said. “The first (goal) was off a blocked shot and it’s a matter of beating us down the ice, but on the next three, we had full possession of the puck. How you manage that puck, where you turn it over…
“We started to turn the puck over, in part because I thought they got quicker, their sticks got better and they knocked things down more. We tried to active the D because we were chasing the game, but they got quicker and our execution started to look pretty poor.”
Kane opened the scoring with his 39th of the year and league-leading 91st point at 16:56 of the second. Speeding down the right side with a tired defender in chase, Kane roofed a backhander over Pavelec’s left shoulder, stunning the 15,296 in attendance.
Kane is now only one away of hitting the 40-goal plateau for the first time in his career.
Hossa put the Hawks up by two less than a half-minute later as he jumped on a loose puck and fired it home from the near circle, giving him career goal No. 498.
“They forced a couple turnovers on us and got some fast-break offence out of it,” Adam Lowry said. “We know that if we don’t take care of the puck against a team like that, it’s going to come back and hurt you. (Ondrej Pavelec) made some big saves for us, and it’s tough for him when he’s facing breakaways and 2-on-1s.”
The Jets had a strong start to the middle frame, but Darling kept his team in it with 10 total saves in the period. Darling, who got the start in place of the injured Corey Crawford, made a big stop off Drew Stafford, who had an open net to shoot for but couldn’t quite get a handle at the far dot, giving the goalie time to slide across and close the open side midway through.
The Jets are now 1-26-3 this year when trailing after two periods.
“They got those two before the end of the second period and we kind of folded after that,” an emotional Blake Wheeler said.
Ladd gave the Blackhawks a 3-0 lead at 3:06 of the third as he converted a pass from Jonathan Toews, putting it upstairs over Pavelec, for his third goal with his new team.
Fleischmann iced it at 4:51, averting the poke check and tucking home the backhander on a break from the hash marks on in.
Shots on goal favoured the Hawks 13-11 after a scoreless opening period. Pavelec kept it that way with his highlight-reel save off Dale Wiese, who took a backdoor feed from Thomas Fleischmann and fired it high, but Pavelec made it across in time, gloving it circus-style for one of the finer stops of his career.
A giveaway by Chicago rookie Artemi Panarin led to the best chance for the Jets early on, but Wheeler – who found himself in alone – rang a shot off the base of the near post.
“You’ve got to put the puck in the net to win hockey games. We just couldn’t solve them tonight,” Tyler Myers said.
“It’s tough to chase the game and that’s what we ended up doing.”
– Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com