Chicago Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews returned to his hometown of Winnipeg and came away with a 5-1 Hawks victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday afternoon at MTS Centre.
Brandon Bollig and Nick Leddy each had a goal and an assist while Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrick Sharp, and Ben Smith also scored for the Hawks third consecutive victory with five goals. Marcus Kruger added two assists.
Tobias Enstrom’s blast from the blue line found the back of the net for the Jets before an offensive explosion by the Hawks.
After a string of penalties by former Hawks Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd, Hjalmarsson leveled the score. With two seconds remaining in the power play, Kruger won a face off and Hjalmarsson rifled a shot for a 1-1 tie.
54 seconds into the second Bollig scored before Sharp received a feed from Marian Hossa to put the Hawks up 3-1 on a breakaway goal. Leddy chased starting netminder Ondrej Pavelec with the third Hawks goal with a blast from the point to make it 4-1.
Chicago native Al Montoya replaced Pavelec and gave up a late goal to Smith in a 5-1 loss.
It was the first of four games between the Central Division foes and Toews’ first professional game in his hometown. The game also featured former Hawks Ladd, Byfuglien, who won the Cup in 2010 and Michael Frolik, who won the Cup last season with the Hawks before being traded during the offseason.
The Hawks return to the United Center Sunday night to face off against the Calgary Flames at 6:30 p.m CT (CSN-CH/WGN 720).