Connor scores twice for Jets, Blackhawks drop 8th straight
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Kyle Connor wasn’t too disappointed about falling short of his first career hat trick.
The third-year forward scored twice as the Winnipeg Jets beat Chicago 6-3 on Tuesday night to give the Blackhawks their eighth straight loss.
Connor nearly had another goal late in the second period when Chicago goalie Cam Ward made an arcing glove grab. He had other opportunities, too.
“Yeah, that was tough,” Connor said of missing out on the hat trick. “But played a good game, full team effort from top to bottom.”
Mark Scheifele and Tyler Myers each had a goal and assist, Mathieu Perreault scored and Brandon Tanev added an empty-net goal for Winnipeg. Dustin Byfuglien had three assists.
Laurent Brossoit played his eighth game (seventh start) for the Jets and made 32 saves.
Dylan Strome, Dominik Kahun and Alex DeBrincat scored for Chicago. Patrick Kane added a pair of assists and Ward stopped 28 shots,
“He was amazing for us,” Kane said of Ward. “He had so many big saves, kept us in the hockey game, gave us a chance to win even when you’re down 4-0. So, yeah, we feel like we left him out to dry obviously, which isn’t fair.”
The Blackhawks also lost eight straight earlier this season, although two were in overtime. The current slump is all in regulation time.
“If I had it (a reason) I would have fixed it already,” said Chicago head coach Jeremy Colliton, who replaced the fired Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6.
“Compete harder early on. I thought we were late to almost every situation in the first period and they have a really good team. They pressure hard and they make a lot of plays. They play like men out there and we just couldn’t match it in the beginning and we paid a price for it.”
Winnipeg led 3-0 after the first period, but Chicago came back to make it 4-3 early in the third.
Chicago didn’t get its first shot on goal until 17:36 into the game, drawing sarcastic cheers from some fans.
“Pretty embarrassing start,” Kane said, adding the slow starts are a bad trend.
It was an unusual start for Brossoit, too.
“I can’t say that I’ve ever been through that much time without a shot,” he said. “It was a bit of a challenge, but they came with a bit of a surge and gave me four or five shots all in a row, so I got into the game off that surge.”
Scheifele opened the scoring with a power-play goal when he redirected Byfuglien’s point shot at 7:49 for his 17th goal. Myers scored 72 seconds later.
Connor’s 12th of the season came after he took the puck most of the way down the ice, lost control of it in the slot, got his stick on it and put a backhand shot past Ward’s glove at 13:38.
Connor scored his second goal of the game off a rebound on the power play at 1:44 of the second, but Strome got the visitors on the board 20 seconds later.
Duncan Keith had an assist. He and defenseman Brent Seabrook marked their 1,000th regular-season game together, the most by current NHL teammates and seventh all-time.
Kahun squeezed Winnipeg’s lead to 4-2 after he banged in a rebound at 7:09. DeBrincat sent a sharp-angled shot between the post and Brossoit to make it 4-3 at 6:08 of the third, but Perreault scored on the power play to regain the two-goal lead at 11:36.
NOTES: Kane extended his points streak to four games with two goals and four assists. ... Winnipeg was 3 for 5 on the power play and Chicago 0 for 2.
Blackhawks. Host Pittsburgh on Wednesday night to start a four-game homestand.
Jets: End a four-game homestand against Edmonton on Thursday night.