Saad's OT goal lifts Blackhawks over Jets, snaps mini-skid
Brandon Saad was in the right place to send the Chicago Blackhawks to victory.
Saad scored in overtime to help the Blackhawks snap a two-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night.
"The puck found a way to me right in front and it was an easy tap," Saad said of his 16th goal of the season. "My eyes opened pretty big there. I was pretty excited to get that puck."
Patrick Kane also scored for the Blackhawks, while Corey Crawford made 20 saves in a game that had a postseason-type intensity for some.
"They just play that type of game," Crawford said. "Everyone on their side plays hard, they play physical and it just seems like there's no room. They just run all over the ice."
Mark Scheifele scored for the Jets, who entered on an 0-4-1 skid since the All-Star break and were outscored 23-11 during that span.
Winnipeg announced before the game that Evander Kane, a healthy scratch in Vancouver on Tuesday night, will undergo left shoulder surgery and be out of the lineup for four to six months.
With Kane out and options limited at forward, coach Paul Maurice moved All-Star defenseman Dustin Byfuglien back to the wing, where he started the season.
"He had an injury to take care of and he did it," Byfuglien said. "Whoever is putting the jersey on, we have to stick together. ... We've got to worry about our games."
Scheifele opened the scoring 4:17 into the first period, forcing a turnover by David Rundblad on the forecheck and beating Crawford to the top corner.
"I thought there were a lot of good things," Scheifele said. "I thought we were back to our physicality."
Patrick Kane tied it 2:50 into the second period when he broke in alone, went to his backhand and roofed it over a sprawling Michael Hutchinson for his 26th goal. It was Chicago's first goal in 149 minutes and 25 seconds.
"It was nice to get that first one, especially when you haven't scored in a couple of games," Kane said.
Daniel Carcillo returned to the Blackhawks' lineup after serving a six-game suspension for a cross-check on Jets forward Mathieu Perrault on Jan. 16. It took only 67 seconds for Carcillo to drop the gloves with Winnipeg's Chris Thorburn. Jets forward Anthony Peluso attempted to fight Carcillo in the second period, but the Chicago forward didn't oblige.
Hutchinson got the start in all three previous meetings between the clubs, posting a 1.00 goals-against average and .971 save percentage.
NOTES: The Blackhawks were shut out in their previous two games, the first time that happened since a three-game drought in October 2006. ... Jets forward Patrice Cormier, who was recalled from St. John's on Thursday after Evander Kane was placed on the injured reserve, didn't play.