WINNIPEG - Michael Hutchinson has no problem rising to the challenge of playing the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Winnipeg Jets back-up goaltender made a career-high 45 saves Thursday in a 3-1 victory over the reigning Stanley Cup champions, improving his career record against the Blackhawks to 4-0-1.
"It's just one of those teams that sometimes you have it where things just go your way," Hutchinson said.
The victory halted Chicago's four-game winning streak (6-4-0).
The Jets (6-3-1) held a 2-1 edge heading into the third period on goals by Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd, both set up by centre Bryan Little.
Mark Scheifele padded the lead at 8:04 when he took a pass from rookie Nikolaj Ehlers and beat goalie Corey Crawford on the short side.
Scheifele heaped praise on Hutchinson, who is 4-0 this season and has a .949 save percentage and 1.75 goals-against average backing up starter Ondrej Pavelec.
"He was awesome all night. That's about it," Scheifele said. "He was unbelievable for us tonight. He kept us in it, especially in that first period. He had an awesome game."
Patrick Kane scored the game's first goal, his sixth of the season, 1:26 into the match on a power play.
Crawford was riding four straight wins and a pair of shutouts into the game. He stopped 28 shots in defeat.
The Jets got off on the wrong foot quickly when defenceman Toby Enstrom took a hooking penalty at 18 seconds of the first period.
Kane then took a cross-ice pass from centre Artemi Panarin and fired a low shot past Hutchinson.
Kane said they had chances to score more and credited Hutchinson with some big saves, but added that his team has to find the back of the net more often. Their two previous games were each 1-0 victories.
"At this point in time we can do things a little bit different to make it tougher on their goalie," Kane said.
"Try to get to the net, stay at the net, get shots through, get rebounds and try to bang in goals that way. Get some dirty goals because it seems all the pretty plays are not really happening for us. We can do a better job at trying to get some ugly ones."
Wheeler tied the game 1-1 with his fifth goal of the season after Little won the faceoff, sent the puck back to him and he delivered a low shot from the top of the circle that went under Crawford's stretched-out left leg at 8:12 of the first period.
With hometown product Jonathan Toews in the box for holding, the Jets peppered shots at Crawford until Ladd flipped in a Little rebound to go ahead 2-1 at 5:09 of the second.
Toews said the team effort is there most of the time.
"But, unfortunately, the times we let up are ones that ended up hurting us," he said. "Just tighten up our game and be more consistent and stay with it. Can't get frustrated."
It was the final game of Winnipeg's season-long, six-game homestand (3-2-1)
The Jets head out for a four-game road trip, starting Saturday in Columbus. Chicago travels to Minnesota for a game Friday.
Notes ??? Nikolaj Ehlers extended his point streak to five games, with four goals and four assists ??? Chicago is now 6-1-0 when scoring first this season ??? The Jets have given up the first goal in eight of their first 10 games and are (5-2-1) in those matches ??? Jets forward Mathieu Perreault picked up an assist in his 300th NHL career game.