Little help Jets rally past Blackhawks
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[January 27, 2017]
CHICAGO -- Playing their fourth
game in six nights, the Winnipeg Jets relied on some guile to
continue their season-long mastery of the Chicago Blackhawks
Andrew Copp and Bryan Little scored 32 seconds apart late in the
final frame as the Jets rallied to record their fourth win of the
season over the Blackhawks, 5-3 on Thursday night in the teams'
final game before the All-Star break.
Copp beat Scott Darling with 4:02 remaining to tie the game at 3. It
was Copp's fourth goal in five games. Little followed quickly with
his sixth goal in four games and one that withstood a video review.
"We didn't come out and blow the doors off in the third but we made
the most of when they made mistakes," said Little, who had just
seven goals in his first 24 games.
Shawn Matthias and Patrik Laine scored in the first period and Mark
Scheifele added an empty-netter with 2:03 to play for Winnipeg
(23-25-4), which has won three of five.
Duncan Keith, Nick Schmaltz and Tanner Kero scored for Chicago
(30-16-5), which will face the Jets for the final time in the
regular season on March 10 in Winnipeg.
"I thought we played a lot better the way we needed to play, but
obviously, it wasn't there for a full 60 minutes and you know for
whatever reason they've had our number this year," Keith said.
It was also the Blackhawks' second straight late collapse. Darling
started after Corey Crawford gave up three third-period tallies in a
5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
Darling had been formidable at the United Center this season,
posting a 7-2-1 record with a 1.98 goals-against average. But he
also was forced to overcome some early jitters.
Laine, playing in his second game after missing eight with a
concussion, opened the scoring 6:16 into the contest with Chicago's
Richard Panik off for goaltender interference. Laine took a pass
from Little and ripped a shot from the right side of the slot for
his 22nd goal, leaving him one behind Auston Matthews of the Toronto
Maple Leafs for the rookie lead.
"Patty Laine looked right tonight. ... He was back to looking normal
tonight," Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said of the only Jets player
scheduled to play Sunday in the All-Star Game at Los Angeles.
Winnipeg increased its lead just 42 seconds later. Jacob Trouba's
blast from the left point into traffic was corralled by Matthias,
who slid it past Darling for his seventh goal.
The Blackhawks, who were outscored 9-2 in three previous losses to
Winnipeg, halved the deficit at 13:07 of the first period -- and
only five seconds after the Jets' Nic Petan was called for hooking.
Artem Anisimov won the faceoff and got the puck to Brent Seabrook,
who fed Keith with a cross-ice pass. His shot from the top of the
right circle got past a screened Connor Hellebuyck for his fourth
goal and second in as many games.
The Blackhawks knotted the score four minutes into the second period
when Schmaltz scored unassisted for his third goal. Schmaltz had
been held without a point in his previous three games.
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Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck (37) makes a save during the
first period of the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United
Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago took a 3-2 lead with 3:23 to play in the middle period. Kero
played give-and-go with Patrick Kane and beat Hellebuyck for his
third goal in five games.
But Hellebuyck was solid after that, stopping Jonathan Toews on a
breakaway with 9:20 to play.
"I think I got back to my game, not trying to do too much, not
trying to do other people's jobs, playing my game," said Hellebuyck,
who made 18 of his 38 saves in the opening period in his first
action since Jan. 13.
Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said the team needs the
four-day break to regroup.
"This one's going to take a while to swallow, the way we lost this
one," he said.
The Blackhawks dropped four points behind the Central
Division-leading Minnesota Wild, who have three games in hand.
NOTES: Four Blackhawks -- RW Patrick Kane, C Jonathan Toews, D
Duncan Keith and G Corey Crawford will head to Los Angeles for
Sunday's All-Star game. ... Chicago D Niklas Hjalmarsson played in
his 600th career game. ... Coming into play Thursday and with a
minimum of 10 games played in January, Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane
was third in the league with an average of 4.3 shots on goal per
game. ... RW Jordin Tootoo, D Michal Rozsival and C Dennis Rasmussen
were scratched for Chicago. ... Winnipeg's scratches were D Brian
Strait, D Julian Melchiori and G Michael Hutchinson. ... Following
the All-Star break, the NHL will resume play with 14 games on
Tuesday. Chicago meets the San Jose Sharks in the opener of a
six-game road trip, while Winnipeg continues its four-game swing
against the St. Louis Blues.
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