Jets defeat Blackhawks, strengthen hold on second in Central
Laine extends point streak to 14, longest by teenager in NHL historyby Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent
WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets added to their lead for second place in the Central Division with a 6-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bell MTS Place on Thursday.
Jets forward Patrik Laine extended his point streak to 14 games, the longest by a teenager in NHL history.
[WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Jets highlights]
Kyle Connor scored two goals, Jack Roslovic and Bryan Little each had a goal and an assist, and defenseman Jacob Trouba had two assists in his first game back from injury for Winnipeg, which used a five-goal first period to end a three-game losing streak (0-2-1).
"We lost our last couple of games so we really wanted to rebound, and coming home we had our legs and we got going," Connor said. "That was a tough back-to-back (a 3-2 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals on Monday and a 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday) to end a 12-day (road trip), so we're a little refreshed and it showed tonight."
The Jets (42-19-10) are nine points ahead of the Minnesota Wild for second in the Central. They trail the Predators by eight points for first.
Video: CHI@WPG: Connor taps in a nice feed from Little
Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves for his 36th win.
Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp scored for the Blackhawks (30-33-8), who are 15 points behind the Dallas Stars for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.
Anton Forsberg allowed three goals on six shots and was pulled at 9:26 of the first period. J-F Berube made 30 saves in relief.
"Consistency's been our biggest challenge all year, in games or game to game," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "You get a break like that right off the bat and you got some excitement in your game, we had a heck of a game in here the last time, and then it's like, 'OK, you're down 5-1 after one, that's the ballgame right there.'"
Laine, who turns 20 on April 19, has 16 goals and eight assists during his streak after he helped set up Paul Stastny's goal to tie the game 1-1 at 3:43 of the first period. He passed Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, who had 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in a 13-game streak as an 18-year-old from Jan. 25-March 6, 2014.
"It sounds pretty good," Laine said. "I've been working super hard lately, and I've been getting rewarded, offensively, these past couple of weeks. But it sounds good to me."
Saad scored 11 seconds into the game to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice challenged for offside, but the goal was upheld after video review.
Video: CHI@WPG: Little pots tricky wrister to pad the lead
"You got to try and get rolling right away again," Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "Like I said, it was nice getting one 11 seconds in. It would be nice to get going right away and build off that, but at the end of the day we can't give up five in the first period."
Joel Armia made it 2-1 at 5:18 when he deflected a point shot from Trouba, who played for the first time since Jan. 25 after missing 20 games with a lower-body injury.
Roslovic ended a 16-game goal drought to make it 3-1 at 9:26 and chase Forsberg.
Little put the Jets ahead 4-1 at 17:36 before Connor made it 5-1 at 18:20.
"We got off to a little bit of a different start there with the goal, but nothing changed on the bench which was nice to see," Trouba said. "Everyone stayed positive, with the same kind of attitude that we had to start the game, and we put a couple of goals in and it felt pretty good."
Sharp pulled the Blackhawks to within 5-2 at 15:36 of the second period.
Connor scored his second of the game into an empty net with 49 seconds remaining to make it 6-2.
Video: CHI@WPG: Armia pots tricky redirection in front
Goal of the game
Roslovic's goal at 9:26 of the first period.
Video: CHI@WPG: Roslovic steals puck and goes top shelf
Saves of the game
Hellebuyck stopping Patrick Kane 39 seconds into the third period and Jonathan Toews at 43 seconds.
Video: CHI@WPG: Hellebuyck makes a pair of great saves
Highlight of the game
Stastny's goal at 3:43 of the first period.
Video: CHI@WPG: Laine extends streak on Stastny's goal
They said it
"We want to come out and play hard every game. Winning, everybody is feeling better and having more fun when we are winning. We want to come out and have good efforts and try and do the best we can down the stretch." -- Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook
"Being able to answer right back (after Brandon Saad gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead 11 seconds into the game) is important. It makes you feel good. And then again, and now you've got them on their heels a little bit. But like I said, I don't think it was an easy game for us to play." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice
Need to know
Kane has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 13 games after setting up Saad's goal. … Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 11 games after setting up Stastny's goal.
Blackhawks: At the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, MSG-B, WGN, NHL.TV)
Jets: Host the Dallas Stars on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, FS-SW, NHL.TV)
Video: Laine extends point streak to 14 games in 6-2 victory