By Darrin Bauming
WINNIPEG — Two lightning-quick spurts of offense was more than enough to overpower the Jets on Friday night, as the Blackhawks cruised to a 4-0 win in Winnipeg to snap a four-game losing streak.
Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa scored just 26 seconds apart late in the second, before Andrew Ladd and Tomas Fleischmann added insult to injury in a span of 1:45 in the early stages of the third. Scott Darling turned away all 28 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season.
"It's all we all wanted tonight was a win. That's what we came to do and that's what we needed," said Darling, following his first consecutive game start of the season. "I felt good last game — didn't get the result I wanted, but it was good momentum moving forward. I felt good tonight."
The eventual game-winner came in the second as Kane dashed down the right wing through the neutral zone, out-skating former Blackhawk Marko Dano, before backhanding a roof job past Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec.
On the ensuing shift, Marian Hossa found his 12th of the season on his stick — a rebound off an Artem Anisimov shot that was blocked by Dustin Byfuglien to make it 2-0 at 17:22 of the second.
"We got a little break there, and a great play by (Kane)," said head coach Joel Quenneville of the game's opening goal. "A great finish. And then (Anisimov) makes a real nice play, turning it and patient, and a fortunate rebound.
"There was really nothing going on. Zero-zero, it looked like we were going in after two (periods), and then to score two at the end was good for us," Kane said. "It gives us some confidence especially playing with a lead. We hung in there. We didn't really make too many mistakes in the first part of the game and we capitalized on our chances."
Former Jets captain Ladd — acquired by the Blackhawks on Feb. 25 — tallied his 20th of the season to make it 3-0 early in the third. The 2010 Stanley Cup champion has now hit the 20-goal plateau five times in his 11-year career. Since re-joining the Blackhawks Ladd has three goals and two assists in the nine games.
"For him to come out and score a goal in a big win for our team I'm sure is a good feeling for him too," Kane said. "It was a good welcome home for him."
Kane's two-point night puts the NHL scoring leader at 92 points — 12 ahead of the next in line, Dallas' Jamie Benn, who climbed to 80 with a three-point effort on Thursday. Kane's 39th goal of the season proved to be the eventual game-winner — good for second in the NHL behind Alex Ovechkin's 42.
Fleischmann's 13th of the season is his third in nine games since joining the Blackhawks.
Darling's victory is his seventh on the year (7-6-2) and his first win since Feb. 15 in Toronto. With No. 1 netminder Corey Crawford still listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury suffered earlier this week, 35-year-old Michael Leighton was recalled from AHL Rockford on Thursday to serve as Darling's backup.
Teuvo Teravainen, who skipped Friday's morning skate was listed as questionable by coach Joel Quenneville due to a lingering illness. But the 21-year-old took pre-game warmups and ended up playing 11:04 centering a line with Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise.
The Hawks — edging to within a single point of St. Louis' 91 points for second place in the Central Division — now return home for two more divisional matchups as they host Minnesota on Sunday and Dallas on Tuesday.