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Early period goals, Nikolaj Ehlers down Blackhawks in 6-5 loss to Jets

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Chicago fails to complete a comeback in Winnipeg.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks gave up a goal in the first two minutes of each period, including two in the second, in a 6-5 loss Jets on Thursday night in Winnipeg.

Chicago hung with one of the best in the NHL in the Jets, with a spirited comeback but couldn’t come away with the two points.

Nikolaj Ehlers led the Jets with a hat trick, but it was Patrik Laine who opened the scoring.

Laine scored his 100th career NHL goal just under two minutes into the first period, and his 12th in his last six games. The Blackhawks responded with a squeaker from Marcus Kruger, tying the game 1-1.

Ehlers found the back of the net just as the Blackhawks were getting comfortable, sending the home team up by one. The third line for the Blackhawks got going late, and John Hayden sent one past goaltender Connor Hellebuyck to send the game into the first intermission tied 2-2.

Another quick goal would come off Ehlers just 61 seconds into the second period, giving the Jets a 3-2 edge. They would add on 45 seconds later, when Jacob Trouba made it a two-goal advantage.

Jan Rutta added one before the period was over, bringing the Blackhawks within one before heading off for the second intermission.

Hope seemed to vanish when Laine scored his second of the game, again, just a little more than a minute into the third period. Ehlers sniped one past Corey Crawford to tie a bow on his third career hat trick and giving the Jets their biggest lead of the game.

Dominik Kahun got one back late in the third, bringing the Blackhawks back within two. Just when it seemed like the Blackhawks’ fate was sealed, Artem Anisimov added one with a little under three minutes to go, and after a frenzy in the offensive zone for the last two minutes, the Jets were able to fend off the visitors to grab the win.

Heading into the Central Division matchup, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had recorded eight points in his last eight games. Playing in his hometown, Toews was held without a point and won only 13.33 percent on faceoffs (2 of 13).

Toews had one waiting right on the doorstep with just seconds to go, but couldn’t covert.

The goals just keep coming against the Blackhawks, surrendering 14 during their last two games, and opponents have scored a minimum of four goals in each of their last five. Chicago digs into a hole early, and can’t seem to find the firepower to crawl out of it.

The Blackhawks finish off the quick two-game road trip Saturday when they take on the Predators in Nashville, the first of four meetings this season.

Editor’s note: USA Today did less work covering this game than either team’s defense did. So we had minimal photos to choose from.