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Jets stage 3rd-period rally to beat Blackhawks
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Blake Wheeler scored twice and Andrew Ladd once in a three-goal third period which lifted Winnipeg over Chicago, 3-1, at United Center.
Al Montoya kept his club in the contest, making 34 saves for the Jets, who have reeled off six wins in their last seven outings.
"That win was all him," Ladd said of Montoya. "He gave us a chance going into third. We were only down one and still had a chance to win the game. We wanted to reward him for playing out of his mind over the first two periods."
Brandon Bollig tallied for the Blackhawks, who failed to produce a win in their final home game before the Olympic break. The defending Cup champions embark on a seven-game road trip on Tuesday in Calgary.
Corey Crawford stopped only 18 shots in defeat.
Awakened from their slumber of two-plus periods, the Jets played a strong third to shock the top team in the Central Division.
Wheeler tied the game on a shot from the top of the right circle at 8:16 of the third, then Ladd put the Jets ahead with 7:07 remaining, taking a failed clear between the circles and fooling Crawford with a slow wrister.
Crawford was summoned to the bench with more than 90 seconds remaining, and Wheeler slid the clincher into the empty cage a short time later.
"I think the first 40 [minutes], we gave up nothing," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We get an unfortunate bounce right to their guy [Wheeler] and it's a 1-1 game. We made an uncharacteristic giveaway on the winning goal [by Ladd]. Tough loss for sure."
Bollig's wraparound marker just 81 seconds after the opening faceoff put the hosts in the lead, while the Chicago defense and Crawford made that lead hold up through two periods thanks to allowing just six shots on goal.
Chicago's home defeat was its first in regulation on friendly ice since Jan. 8, a 3-2 loss to the Rangers ... Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane participated in his 500th NHL contest ... Actor Luis Guzman was in attendance, and took three unsuccessful shots for prizes at center ice during the second intermission.
01/27 00:23:59 ET
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