The visiting Chicago Blackhawks struck for a pair of goals just :26 apart late in the second period, and then added 2 more in a 1:25 span early in the third period enroute to a 4-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets Friday Night.
The total elapsed time for the four goals was 7:35, getting Winnipeg’s 4 game homestand off to a rocky start.
Just moments after Hawks netminder Scott Darling went from his left to right to make a nice save off Drew Stafford, Patrick Kane wheeled down the right side and used his breakaway speed to fly by Marko Dano and lift a backhander past Ondrej Pavelec, just under the cross bar to snap the scoreless tie. The goal at 16:56 of the middle frame was Kane’s 39th of the season, and his 91st point.
Then just :26 seconds later Marian Hossa banged home an Artem Anisimov rebound to give Chicago some breathing room going into the third period. But the defending Stanley Cup champs kept the pedal to the metal coming out of the intermission as former Jets Captain Andrew Ladd took a beautiful pass in the high slot from current Chicago captain Jonathan Toews just past the 3 minute mark of the third period and fired it past Pavelec for his 20th goal of the season.
During the first TV timeout of the opening period, the Jets saluted Ladd with a video tribute that brought both teams, and the crowd to their feet. And when Ladd acknowledged that response there was another roar of approval. But other than Blake Wheeler hitting the goal post on an Artemi Panarin giveaway early in the game, that was about it for highlights for the home team.
At 3-0 the Jets were done. But just to make sure, Chicago added a fourth goal when Thomas Fleischman was allowed to skate off the left wing boards and right to the front of the Winnipeg net before sliding it home to remove any notion the Jets might have entertained about making a game of it.
Scott Darling, subbing in for injured number one goalie Corey Crawford, made 28 saves to hand the Jets their fourth shutout loss of the season. Pavelec handled 36 shots at the other end for Winnipeg who are now 4-13-1 on home ice in 2016. And it doesn’t get any easier with Anaheim up next on Sunday afternoon at 2pm.