Winnipeg Jets

Jeff Glass stands tall in Blackhawks' win over Jets

Jeff Glass stands tall in Blackhawks' win over Jets

Now that's what you call a goalie win.

Jeff Glass earned every bit of the Blackhawks' 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night, recording 31 saves at the United Center.

Glass came up large a numerous amount of times, stopping Jets' Kyle Connor on a breakaway, Mathieu Perreault point-blank, and had a huge save in the final minutes of the game.

"He was great today," said coach Joel Quenneville. "Some key saves, key breakaways, several big stops there at the end, several big stops at the end, open side play, one timer, had a couple of breaks at the end, as well. But you like how he battles, how he competes, and found a way to get us two points."

The only goal Glass allowed was an absolute snipe by Patrik Laine, which came with 3:41 left in the third.

"Honestly it was a great shot," Glass said. "He's got one of the best releases in the league and he proved it on that shot. I tip my hat to him – he put it right in the corner. Move on and get ready for the next shot."

On the season, Glass is 3-1-1 in five starts with a .918 save percentage. Those numbers are much-needed with Corey Crawford out with an upper-body injury.

"It was a great team effort," Glass said. "I know that cliché gets used but it really was. We checked hard all game. We really did make my life easy. It was a lot of outside shots, a lot of blocked shots. Total team effort."

Though he didn't get the shutout — which would've been the first of his career — Glass was pumped when the final buzzer sounded.

It was a great night for Glass, and another Blackhawks rookie.

David Kampf registered his first career goal after redirecting a Connor Murphy shot in the first period. It was also his first multi-point game, assisting on a goal scored by Jan Rutta in the second period.

The best part? It came on his 23rd birthday.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to get back in win column against red-hot Jets

1-12_jets_matchup_nhl_chi_blank.jpg

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to get back in win column against red-hot Jets

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Winnipeg Jets tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Anthony Duclair's Blackhawks debut?

In a move that could benefit both sides, the Blackhawks acquired Duclair from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Richard Panik, and Joel Quenneville said Wednesday after the game that they'll look to get him into the lineup right away.

Duclair, 22, has nine goals and six assists in 33 games this season. There's high upside to the speedy, offensively-gifted winger, with Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman saying Duclair "brings the ability to be a really electrifying player."

The top two lines appear to be solidified for now, so expect Duclair to slide in somewhere among the bottom six, perhaps the fourth line with Lance Bouma and Tommy Wingels which will help ease him into the system.

2. Can Nick Schmaltz keep rolling?

In 13 games last month, Schmaltz had eight points (three goals, five assists). He's already matched that point total in five games in January, scoring five goals and adding three assists during his five-game point streak.

He's been sensational as of late, and it's come at a convenient time as Artem Anisimov continues to recover from an upper-body injury. It will certainly make things interesting once Anisimov is ready to return, but Schmaltz is looking like the player the Blackhawks thought he could be when they started him at second-line center alongside Patrick Kane to start the season.

Only Kane (45) has more points than Schmaltz (32) on the team this season, and the latter maybe wouldn't be too far off had he not missed four games in October with a lower-body injury.

3. Stay out of the box.

The Blackhawks are tied for 10th in penalty kill percentage (82.3) and are 10-for-10 in their last four games, but they need to do everything in their power to stay out of the box as much as possible.

The Jets have the second-ranked power play in the league (25.6 percent), and have scored with the man advantage in six straight games (9-for-23 for a 39.1 percent success rate over that span). And they're doing it without one of their best offensive weapons in Mark Scheifele, who's out with an upper-body injury and won't return for another month.

Still, Winnipeg is loaded with offensive talent that includes Nikolaj Ehlers, Patrik Laine and Blake Wheeler up front and Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers on the back end.

Five takeaways from Blackhawks 5-1 win over Jets: Offensive contributions everywhere

Five takeaways from Blackhawks 5-1 win over Jets: Offensive contributions everywhere

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks' 5-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night:

1. A perfect start.

Against a high-powered Jets offense that leads the league in first-period goals (40) and ranked fourth in goals per game (3.41) entering Thursday, the Blackhawks made sure to throw the kitchen sink at Winnipeg in the opening frame.

The Blackhawks scored two goals on their first two shots thanks to Vinnie Hinostroza netting his first of the season and Tommy Wingels scoring his third in four games, and Nick Schmaltz later made it three goals on five shots when he redirected Duncan Keith's shot from the point.

The Blackhawks as a team recorded 24 shot attempts (12 on goal) and generated nine 5-on-5 scoring chances compared to 12 attempts (six on goal) and two scoring chances for the Jets. 

2. Bottom six delivers.

Not only did the Blackhawks score five goals, but they got contributions from all over the lineup, particularly the bottom six yet again. Hinostroza and Wingels set the tone early, and their offense trickled down to the top six. 

On the first goal, Patrick Sharp made a nice play to keep the puck in the offensize zone, capitalizing on a Tyler Myers turnover and sliding a perfect pass to Hinostroza for the one-timer. 

On the second, Lance Bouma's first pass attempt to Wingels from behind the net was blocked by a Jets forward but his second one got through and Wingels made no mistake in snapping it past Connor Hellebuyck.

It's the fourth time in the last five games the Blackhawks have gotten a goal from their fourth line, and the first goal from the third line since Alex DeBrincat was moved up to the first with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad.

3. That pass by Schmaltz...

Already on the scoresheet with a goal in the first period, Schmaltz decided to add to his highlight reel in the way he knows how to do it best.

A little past the midway mark of the second period, Schmaltz jumped on a rebound and fired an unbelievable no-look pass right on Kane's tape, who buried home his second goal in as many games to give the Blackhawks a 4-0 lead.

Kane's reaction said it all:

4. Corey Crawford stays sharp.

In their biggest test to date, the Blackhawks needed their netminder to be on his A-game and he was, not surprisingly, up to the task.

With a 27-save performance, Crawford improved to 8-0-2 in his last 10 starts and hasn't lost a regulation game since Nov. 12 against New Jersey. He's allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last four games, and has a .952 save percentage over that span. He also has given up just one goal or fewer in 10 of 24 starts this season.

Crawford's overall save percentage jumped to .934, moving him into a tie with Andrei Vasilevskiy for the league lead among starters.

5. Blackhawks blue liners making things difficult for Joel Quenneville.

When Cody Franson went down with a lower-body injury, it was Jordan Oesterle who got the call to slide into the top pairing with Duncan Keith and he hasn't missed a beat despite being a healthy scratch in 11 straight.

With Jan Rutta (upper body) out, Michal Kempny got back in the lineup for the first time in 14 games and he made sure to make his presence felt.

He logged 16:30 of ice time, registered five shot attempts (three on goal), a blocked shot and scored the Blackhawks' fifth goal of the game with an absolute missile of a slap shot from the left circle that whizzed above Hellebuyck's right shoulder.

It was an important goal, too, because the Jets had just cut the lead to 4-1 and were making a strong push towards the early stages of the third period.

It's a great problem to have when you have eight capable defensemen, but it calls for some difficult decisions when Franson and Rutta get healthy. Oesterle has done nothing to warrant being removed from the lineup, and neither did Kempny in this one.