WINNIPEG — It was a swift ending to today’s NHL game at the MTS Centre and it didn’t come anywhere near the end of it.
The Chicago Blackhawks, making their first visit of the new era here, scored three times in the first 5:42 of the second period and coasted to a 5-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
Goals by Brandon Bollig, Patrick Sharp and Nick Leddy early in the second snapped a 1-1 tie and left the Jets with just one win in their last seven games.
Winnipeg, 5-8-2, meets Detroit here on Monday.
"You could see some frustration in the way that we managed that game," said Jets coach Claude Noel. "We were in pretty good shape in the first period as long as we could keep it that way.
"I think in the matter of a couple of minutes, the game changed drastically and certainly when that happens, there’s a lot of emotion comes into yourself that is not good emotion and that’s what starts to get to you.
"Plus you take the air out of the building."
What really hurt was that to start the second period, the Jets’ line of Bryan Little, Andrew Ladd and Devin Setoguchi had two or three scoring chances on Chicago goalie Corey Crawford right off the bat.
Then Bollig went down the ice on a two-on-one with Marcus Kruger and buried the go-ahead goal.
Winnipeg’s Toby Enstrom and Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson had traded goals in the first.
The sequence early in the second put on display the difference in finish held by the defending Stanley Cup champs.
"It’s the team you have," Noel said. "We have what we have, they have what they have. You’re not going to re-invent how to play. Puck management was critical. That was a key part of the game. Put them on transition, put them on special teams, you’re going to have trouble.
"If you don’t manage the puck well, you’re going to have trouble.
"We made mistakes before it got to our goalies so I’m not going to sit here and blame our goalies. There’s no rocket science way to play when you play a team that can hurt you."
Chicago, now 9-2-3, knew what to do after it got the lead.
"I think we had a pretty good first period," said former Hawks forward Michael Frolik, who now skates for the Jets. "We were all over them, had a few chances and we were happy in the first period
"In the second period, they just scored three quick goals and that’s how they play. They’ve got good transition, very quick, and we gave up three goals and after it, it was kind of over. We said in the room to go after them, don’t quit, but they didn’t give up much after that."