With all due respect, Blackhawks ‘answer the bell,’ beat Jets 5-2
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Sometimes with the Blackhawks, it’s just a matter of getting their attention.
The Jets aren’t the Capitals or Penguins. But four consecutive victories over the Hawks seemed to finally have gotten the message across.
“We need to have much more respect for that team and what they can do,” captain Jonathan Toews said before the game Friday.
The Hawks responded with one of their best all-around games of the season, taking the lead in the second period and fending off the Jets for most of the third before putting it away late in a 5-2 victory at MTS Centre.
Patrick Kane, Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin scored and combined for seven points, and Corey Crawford stopped 30 of 32 shots as the Hawks (34-17-5) won their fourth consecutive game to move to 4-1 on the six-game trip with one game left, Saturday at Edmonton.
“I don’t know if we were thinking too much about who we were playing necessarily,” said Kane, whose 269th goal moved him past Tony Amonte into sixth place on the Hawks’ all-time list. “Obviously, we knew the backstory of this game with them beating us four times and taking the lead from us in the third period [in a 5-3 loss at the United Center on Jan. 27]. It was a good challenge for us. It seemed like we answered the bell.”
In back-to-back games, the Hawks snapped an eight-game regular-season losing streak to the Wild and a four-game streak to the Jets. And they looked more like the team that went 78-0-5 with a lead after two periods instead of the one that had allowed 18 third-period goals in their previous nine losses.
“It’s been a real positive trip for us; tonight might have been the best,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Minnesota has your number, and you come in against another team that has your number. It’s nice to stop the schneid, and it puts us in a good spot — with a little momentum going into the finishing of this trip.”
After the Jets (25-28-4) made it 1-1 on Bryan Little’s rebound goal at 1:23 of the second period, Anisimov scored with a tap-in off a rebound of a shot by Panarin for a 2-1 lead at 12:16 of the period. The Hawks mostly hung on from there — never more precariously than when Brent Seabrook swiped the puck out of danger as it slithered toward the goal line after a shot went between Crawford’s legs late in the second.
Crawford, who had made a terrific leg save on Mathieu Perreault in the first period, stopped the first 14 shots of the third period, and Duncan Keith added a huge insurance goal with a shot from the left point that gave the Hawks a 3-1 lead with 2:59 to play in regulation. Marian Hossa and Panarin added empty-netters around Adam Lowery’s goal for the Jets to account for the final score.
“Some great saves by [Crawford],” Kane said. “It was a great game all around tonight.”
Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson each had six of the Hawks’ 18 blocked shots.
“[Seabrook] was awesome; he might have had 12 saves,” Crawford said. “That was just a solid game from us.
‘‘We’ve got to keep rolling, building more momentum. It could be one of our best games. We’ve got to keep playing like that.”
Follow me on Twitter @MarkPotash.