Blackhawks 5, Jets 1

Jason Bell, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WINNIPEG -- The Chicago Blackhawks scored three straight goals to start the second period and cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
With the score tied 1-1, the Blackhawks got goals from left-wingers Brandon Bollig and Patrick Sharp, and defenseman Nick Leddy within a four-minute span to chase goalie Ondrej Pavelec from the Jets' net.
Winnipeg defenseman Tobias Enstrom and Chicago blueliner Niklas Hjalmarsson traded goals in the first period, while winger Ben Smith added a third-period goal for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The victory was the third straight for the Blackhawks (9-2-3), who host the Calgary Flames on Sunday night. The Jets (5-8-2) are on a three-game losing streak and have a chance to rebound Monday when they host the Detroit Red Wings.
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, who was born and raised in Winnipeg and has rock-star status in the city, didn't register a point Saturday. Patrick Kane was also held pointless for the Blackhawks.
Corey Crawford stopped 26 shots for his eighth victory of the season.
The Blackhawks were making their first regular-season visit to Winnipeg since 1996, when the old version of the Jets played out of the now-demolished Winnipeg Arena.
Now, as Central Division rivals, the teams meet three more times this season. The clubs face off again Wednesday in Chicago.
Enstrom opened the scoring for the Jets, firing a bullet from the point past Crawford with heavy traffic in front at 5:08 for his second goal of the year.
But the Blackhawks pulled even five minutes later when Marcus Kruger's clean faceoff win went back to Hjalmarsson and he wired the puck over Pavelec's left shoulder. The goal was his first of the season.
Chicago went up, 2-1, 54 seconds into the middle period on Bollig's second goal of the season, a hard wrist shot on a 2-on-1 break.
The Blackhawks added another goal less than two minutes later on a breakaway by Sharp, who made a nifty deke on Pavelec and slipped the puck into an empty net for his third of the season.
Leddy's point shot through a screen found the back of the net at 5:49, spelling the end for Pavelec, who yielded four goals on only 14 shots.
Al Montoya came on in relief and made 11 saves for Winnipeg.
A lackluster third period generated only one goal off a deflection by Smith at 9:13 for his second tally of the season.
The only real cheers from the crowd came when linesman Brad Lazarowich leaped to avoid being hit by a puck, tumbled over the boards and into the Chicago bench, and when Kane clanked a backhand high off the post on a penalty shot.
NOTES: Chicago coach Joel Quenneville played three Winnipeg-born stars, C Jonathan Toews, RW Patrick Sharp and D Duncan Keith, on the first shift Saturday. ... Before the game, the Jets announced they claimed D Keaton Ellerby on waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. The 24-year-old Strathmore, Alberta, native has played in 160 games between the Florida Panthers and the Kings. The Jets need a body on the blue line, with regulars Jacob Trouba, Mark Stuart and Paul Postma out because of injuries. ... Blackhawks backup G Nikolai Khabibulin, 40, played the last-ever game for Winnipeg in 1996 before the Jets left for Phoenix. Fans at the MTS Centre gave him a standing ovation when he was saluted on the big screen early in the second period. ... Chicago was ranked last in the NHL on the penalty kill with a success rate of only 72.5 per cent prior to Saturday's game. ... Winnipeg C Bryan Little came into the game leading the team with seven goals, matching his goal total for the 48-game season last year. ... The reigning Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks visit the White House on Monday to be congratulated by President Barack Obama. The team will also spend time with wounded soldiers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. ... Jets captain LW Andrew Ladd and D Dustin Byfuglien won a Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010, and RW Michael Frolik was a member of Chicago's 2013 championship squad.

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