WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Blake Wheeler had two goals an an assist as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Saturday night.
Defenseman Josh Morrissey had a goal and an assist, and Mark Scheifele also scored to help Winnipeg win its second straight in its first game since Jan. 30.
“The last two days of practice we had a lot of life in practice so you could sense we would come out with some good jump tonight,” Wheeler said.
Connor Hellebuyck had 31 saves as the Jets completed four-game sweep of the season series with the Blackhawks.
“I think they’ve got a lot of goal scorers over there and they were pushing the pace on us a little bit, trying to get us on our heels,” Hellebuyck said. “We didn’t break, and that’s the NHL right there. You gotta weather the storm and then you take it back to them, which we did.”
Tyler Johnson scored for Chicago, and Petr Mrazek stopped 24 shots.
“They’re a very talented team offensively,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said of the Jets. “The couple mistakes we made in the second period, they really capitalized on. But I loved our first period, the way we skated and played, and I really liked our push in the third.”
After a scoreless first period, Morrissey got the Jets on the scoreboard at 1:16 of the second with an unassisted backhand shot from the high slot.
The Jets doubled their lead during a power play when Kyle Connor fired a one-timer at the net and the puck went in off Wheeler’s skate at 7:33.
Scheifele made it 3-0 with a one-timer with 7:41 left in the second after Wheeler sent him a quick pass to the high slot.
Chicago had its third power play of the night late in the middle period, but again came up empty on three shots at Hellebuyck.
“I thought Winnipeg killed well,” Johnson said. “We tried a few different things that they forced us to do and it just didn’t work out for us. We’ve got to try to create a little bit more as a unit.”
Johnson got the Blackhawks on the board after he reached out his stick and swept a loose puck around Hellebuyck’s skate at 2:08 of the third.
The Blackhawks ramped up their energy after the goal, but the Jets tightened up on defense.
Mrazek was pulled for the extra attacker with three minutes remaining, but Hellebuyck smothered a close-in shot and Wheeler scored into the empty net with 25 seconds left to seal the win.
Winnipeg is 14-4-0 against their Central Division foes this season, which is tops in the division. The Jets have also won nine of their past 10 games against division rivals.
Blackhawks: At Montreal on Tuesday night.
Jets: Host Seattle on Tuesday night.
The Chicago Journal needs your support.
At just $20/year, your subscription not only helps us grow, it helps maintain our commitment to independent publishing.
If you're already a subscriber and you'd like to send a tip to continue to support the Chicago Journal, which we would greatly appreciate, you can do so at the following link:
Send a tip to the Chicago Journal