By Chris Block
It wasn’t pretty, but the Blackhawks survived a Jets onslaught and pulled out a huge win Sunday night in Winnipeg that may have solidified the Hawks a playoff spot.
The third period began with Winnipeg leading 3-2 after Dustin Byfuglien power play goal in the final minute of the second period gave the Jets their second lead of the night.
Patrick Sharp tied the contest at 6:27 of the third, pouncing on a loose puck and a breakaway from near center ice after Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom became entangled with linesman Don Henderson and lost his stick with Sharp in pursuit.
The Hawks then won the game with 31 seconds left in regulation after some cycling by the top line and a Jonathan Toews re-direct on a Niklas Hjalmarsson shot. The goal was Toews’ 25th, which marks the 6th time in Toews’ eight year career that he’s scored 25 or more goals in a season. And in one of those seasons, the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, Toews posted 23 goals in 47 games played.
Byfuglien tallied two goals on Sunday, his 17th and 18th, against the Blackhawks organization that raised him. Blake Wheeler potted his 25th of the season in short-handed fashion in the second period on a 3 on 2 break after Andrew Shaw took off for the bench on an ill-advised change.