The Blackhawks couldn’t have played much worse than they did on Thursday night. They certainly couldn’t have started worse.
So with that lousy game in mind they did an about-face in just about every category on Friday, including that start.
Patrick Kane scored to extend his point streak to 25 games and Jonathan Toews added a power-play goal as the Blackhawks beat the Winnipeg Jets 2-0 on Friday night. The Blackhawks rebounded from Thursday with a complete effort; their power play supplied two goals, their penalty kill shutting the Jets down, they blocked 23 shots and Corey Crawford stopped all 25 shots he saw.
“That really wasn’t our team at all,” Crawford said of Thursday’s game. “Usually you bounce back after games like that and tonight was really good. The power play was rolling and our PK was solid. It was a good game for us.
And it was another good night for Kane, whose power-play goal ties him with Sidney Crosby for the longest point streak since the 1992-93 season. Crosby’s 25-game point streak was from Nov. 5-Dec. 28, 2010.
“I think it's one of those things when you realize what elite company you're in, when you're with these great players that have had these great streaks, it definitely humbles you,” Kane said. “I obviously feel honored and very fortunate to be involved with names like those. It's something I'm trying not to think about too much. I just go out and play the game. The last few games, I don't think I've played as well as I probably could've, but sometimes you end up with those chances and you can take advantage of getting points.”
Trevor Daley returned after missing the last two games with a neck injury sustained on Sunday against the Jets. He played just under nine minutes and was paired with David Rundblad, who had the secondary assist on Kane’s goal.
Toews gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead just 4:34 into the game. He, Marian Hossa and Andrew Shaw were all around the net and each got a whack at Rundblad’s shot from the blue line.
Midway through the second period Kane added to his point streak, scoring off a no-look pass from Teuvo Teravainen with 12 seconds remaining on the power play for a 2-0 lead.
“Great goal, what a play, what a shot. It continues on so it’s been fun to be a part of it, fun watching him continue to find different ways,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “He has some different looks every single night and if you’re an opponent it’s tough to contain.”
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Crawford wasn’t as busy as Tuesday, when he stopped 36 of 37 shots against the Nashville Predators. But the Jets looked their best in the third, when Crawford stopped all 13 of their shots.
“I mean, they had some zone time in the second; they just didn’t get many shots on it. Our guys did a great job of keeping them to the outside and blocking shots,” Crawford said. “They had some momentum in the third but we played well throughout the whole game. That was a good comeback win after last night.”
It certainly erased the lousy feeling from Thursday night. The Blackhawks figured they had a rebound game in them. They got the necessary performance from everyone on Friday.
“I think even not having played so well early in [Thursday’s] game, Kaner scores that goal to make it 3-1, they were just really on their game and made sure they took the momentum back. They were feeling it,” Toews said. “But we knew tonight was going to be a different story. We could bring that energy and momentum early on and you saw what happened.”