Jets defeat Blackhawks behind two 3rd-period goals in 28 seconds
Just when the Winnipeg Jets could have started tiring, they shifted into a higher gear against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Bryan Little and Chris Thorburn scored 28 seconds apart midway through the third period to snap a tie, and the Jets went on to beat Chicago 4-2 on Friday night for their third straight win.
Zach Bogosian and Andrew Ladd each had a goal and an assist for the Jets, who — along with rookie goalie Michael Hutchinson — beat the Blackhawks for the third time this season, all in Chicago.
The Jets played their third game in four nights — and sixth in nine — against a Chicago team that hadn’t played since Sunday. Winnipeg was also coming off a 2-1 win at Dallas on Thursday in which they were outshot 47-22 as No. 1 goalie Ondrej Pavelec was the difference.
"This was as good a character win as we’ve had since I’ve been here," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "It’s not a tough schedule, it’s a brutal schedule.
"We play on energy and I can’t imagine (the Winnipeg players) had any tonight."
But somehow, the Jets found it.
"We really came together and sucked it up for 60 minutes tonight and played hard," said Little, who along with Ladd lead the team with 17 goals. "When your confidence is high like it is right now, that’s the type of effort you’re going to get."
Matchups against the high-skilled Blackhawks seem to bring out solid, smart physical play from the much-improved Jets, who are 4-0-1 in their last five.
The score was tied 1-1 heading into the third period, but the Jets took charge in the final frame.
"We know coming in here, it’s going to be a challenge," Ladd said. "Maybe that gave us the urgency to get on them, and we seemed to be able to do that.
Hutchinson made 31 saves after stopping 71 of 72 shots in his previous two wins against the Blackhawks.
"We had some good chances to score and he made some key saves," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was 1-1 hockey game.
"But they’re a different team than we saw last year. That’s a team that can win and beat anybody because they work their tails off."
Chicago rookie Teuvo Teravainen got his first NHL goal, Brandon Saad also scored, and Corey Crawford finished with 31 saves.
"Tonight, I just thought I was ready to shoot everything," the 20-year-old Teravainen said.
Jets forward Mathieu Perreault left the ice gingerly with 9.4 seconds left in the second period after being cross-checked across the back by Chicago’s Daniel Carcillo, and didn’t return. Perreault, who scored four goals against Florida on Tuesday, had six goals and three assists in his last five games.
The Blackhawks dominated early in an uptempo, physical first period punctuated by two free-swinging fights.
Saad opened the scoring just 53 seconds in when he backhanded a rolling puck from the left circle, and the rising shot slipped past Hutchinson’s right elbow.
The Jets came on as the period progressed and tested Crawford with some prime chances.
Bogosian tied it at 1 midway through the first on a low screened shot from inside the blue line after taking a feed from Ladd. Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry was in front of the crease as the puck slipped under Crawford’s pads.
Following a scoreless and scrappy second period, the Jets came out strong in early in the third.
Little’s power-play goal, set up by Bogosian’s slick pass, put the Jets ahead 2-1 at 9:31 of the third. Thorburn, at the edge of the crease, tipped in Lowry’s feed from the top of the slot 28 seconds later.
Teravainen picked up a loose puck made it 3-2 with 7:17 left on a shot from the slot.
With Crawford on the bench for an extra attacker, Ladd scored into an empty with 29 seconds to seal the win.
NOTES: Winnipeg F Blake Wheeler played his 500th game. … The Blackhawks meet the Central Division rival Jets two more times this season, with both games in Winnipeg. … The Blackhawks started a stretch of four games in six nights. … Chicago F Kris Versteeg missed his sixth game with a left hand injury, and D Tim Erixon and C Joakim Nordstrom were healthy scratches. … Winnipeg’s healthy scratches were D Adam Pardy, D Paul Postma and F T.J.Galiardi.