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Blackhawks ground Jets for 4th straight win

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Vinnie Hinostroza and Michal Kempny each score their first goal of the season.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Winnipeg Jets Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks scored three first-period goals en route to a 5-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets for their fourth straight win Thursday at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg.

Vinnie Hinostroza, Tommy Wingels and Nick Schmaltz each scored in the first period. Schmaltz also had a no-look assist on Patrick Kane’s goal in the second period. Michal Kempny, who had not played in Chicago’s last 13 games, added a goal in the third period.

Nikolaj Ehlers scored Winnipeg’s lone goal on the power play in the third frame.

Corey Crawford made 27 saves in net for Chicago, who won the opener in the five-game season series and snapped a three-game road skid. Winnipeg had been 10-0-1 in its last 11 home games.

Chicago wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Hinostroza scored his first goal of the season just 1 minute, 50 seconds into the game. It was a much better start in Winnipeg for Hinostroza, who suffered a concussion in last season’s series against the Jets.

Wingels tallied a score five minutes later, and Schmaltz found the back of the net at 10:21 on the Hawks’ fifth shot of the game.

The second period didn’t start off with as much pace as the first. The Hawks received a power play early, but came up empty and were 0 for 3 in the game. But then Schmaltz connected a jaw-dropping no-look pass to Kane to give Chicago a 4-0 lead.

The third frame brought much more energy from both teams. Schmaltz committed a tripping penalty against Bryan Little that led to Ehlers’ power play goal. Toews lost a faceoff and the Jets found Ehlers open at the top of the opposite faceoff circle for a slapshot. It was Ehlers fourth straight game with a goal.

Ehler’s goal ignited the Jets offense as they continued to pepper Crawford, who came up with some key saves to keep it a three-goal game. Kempny ended any hopes the Winnipeg faithful had of a comeback with a rocket of a shot at 8:21.

3 Things

Winning in Winnipeg

With the win, Chicago improves to 12-9 all-time against the Jets. The series was fairly lopsided until last season when the Jets won the season series 4-1. The Hawks have the Jets number in Winnipeg though with an 8-2 mark.

More like Wingoals

Wingels was an after thought as an offseason free agent acquisition. The Evanston, Illinois native scored his fifth goal of the season and third in his last four games. The goal came in only the 29th game of the season, and he looks well on his way to eclipsing his career high 16 goals from the 2013-14 season.

Turning the corner

The Hawks have won four straight, and sit only four points back of the second-place Jets in the Central Division. Three of those four wins were at home and against some of the league’s worst teams in Buffalo, Arizona and Florida, and were tougher than they should have been. However, the win over the Jets was impressive on both ends of the ice and the Hawks showed they’re gaining some moxie to climb back atop the division.

3 Stars

  1. Schmaltz (CHI) - 1 goal, 1 assist
  2. Kane (CHI) - 1 goal, 1 assist
  3. Crawford (CHI) - 27 saves, 1 goal allowed

Up next

The Hawks have the next two days off before ending the week against Minnesota at United Center in Chicago.