Blackhawks 4, Jets 1
CHICAGO -- The mantra for the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday in their 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets easily could have been "better late than never."
Chicago (10-2-4) scored three of its four goals late in the first period (two tallies) and second period (one) to earn its fourth win in five games. The Blackhawks are 7-1-3 in their last 11 games.
Blackhawks captain and center Jonathan Toews and right wing Patrick Kane scored in the closing minutes of the first period. Rookie center Brandon Pirri gave Chicago a 3-0 lead with less than two minutes to play in the second.
Left wing Patrick Sharp added the Blackhawks' final goal four minutes into the third period.
Winnipeg (6-9-2) dropped its third game in the past six and fell to 3-6-2 in its past 11 contests.
The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead when Toews scored at 17:29 of the first period on a backhander past Winnipeg goalie Al Montoya. It was Toews' eighth goal of the season.
Kane scored his team-leading ninth of the season at 19:54 of the opening frame with a wrist shot to make it 2-0.
Toews and Kane remain tied in overall points at 14 each.
At 18:02 of the second period, Pirri netted his third goal of the season.
Rather than wait until late in the third period, Sharp struck early with fours across the board: He scored Chicago's fourth goal and his fourth goal of the season at exactly four minutes into the final frame.
Winnipeg avoided a shutout when right wing Devin Setoguchi scored his third goal of the season at 8:40 of the final period.
That was the only tarnish on yet another strong game by Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, who stopped all but one of Winnipeg's 25 shots.
Montoya stopped 24 of Chicago's 28 shots.
At 13:38 of the third period, Chicago left wing Brandon Bollig laid a hard check on Winnipeg defenseman Adam Pardy, completely knocking out the sideboard glass (though not shattering it).
Pardy was knocked almost halfway into the first row but wasn't injured. A fan took Pardy's helmet and put it on his own head, prompting security to retrieve the helmet and then eject the fan.
NOTES: Attendance was 21,122, the smallest home crowd this season for Chicago. But it still was a sellout, making it 237 straight home sellouts for the Blackhawks. ... Chicago came into the game with a 10-3-0 record against the Jets, including their previous time as the Atlanta Thrashers. ... Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane is one away from 50 power-play goals in his career, while RW Patrick Sharp is two away and C Jonathan Toews is three away. ... Before Wednesday, all six of Winnipeg's road games were decided by one goal (2-3-1). ... Jets RW Devin Setoguchi played in his 400th NHL game, while and Jets captain and LW Andrew Ladd is one game away from 550. ... Former Blackhawks RW Michael Frolik, who was traded to Winnipeg for a pair of draft picks on June 30, is off to a successful start with the Jets. He has three goals and six assists. ... The Jets' Dustin Byfuglien leads all NHL defensemen with 56 shots. ... The Jets have struggled with injuries, with four players on injured reserve and 37 man-games lost already.