Blackhawks lead fast-eroding in NHL

The Blackhawks missed a chance to boost its fast-eroding lead in the Central Division after defeat in the NHL.

    Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is pursued byBlackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook [Reuters]
    Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is pursued byBlackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook [Reuters]

    The Chicago Blackhawks missed a chance to boost its fast-eroding lead atop the NHL Central Division when it was beaten 3-1 at home by rejuvenated Winnipeg Jets.

    The Blackhawks have lost three in a row and lead St. Louis by only a point, with the Blues having three games in hand.

    Elsewhere, Vancouver beat divisional rival Phoenix in overtime, and the New York Rangers had a big win over New Jersey in the first game played outdoors at baseball's Yankee Stadium.

    Winnipeg goaltender Al Montoya made 34 saves, Andrew Ladd scored his 150th career goal, and Blake Wheeler had two third-period goals as Winnipeg improved to 6-1 under new coach Paul Maurice and moved out of last spot in the Central, leapfrogging Nashville.

    Maurice keeps improving

    Brandon Bollig scored in the first for the Blackhawks but thereafter could not find a way past Chicago native Montoya, who was subbing for Ondrej Pavelec.

    Vancouver's Kevin Bieksa scored his second goal of the game at 2:15 of overtime to give the Canucks a 5-4 win over Phoenix.

    Zac Dalpe and Chris Higgins each had goal and an assist for Vancouver, and Jannik Hansen also scored.

    Antoine Vermette had a hat trick for Phoenix, and Shane Doan added a goal and an assist.

    The Rangers-Devils game at Yankee Stadium had to be delayed because of sun reflecting off the ice, but eventually went ahead and the hometown team reveled in the snow and cold, beating New Jersey 7-3.

    After Dominic Moore and Marc Staal had goals in the first for the Rangers, Mats Zuccarello scored two straight to put New York ahead for the first time, while Carl Hagelin and Rick Nash found the net, too, as the Rangers used a four-goal second period to take the lead for good.

    New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist wore pinstriped pads as a nod to the New York Yankees, and had a difficult first period but then settled down.

    Florida's Nick Bjugstad scored in a shootout and Tim Thomas denied Detroit three times, lifting the Panthers to a 5-4 win over Detroit after twice trailing by two goals in regulation.

    Edmonton's Ryan Smyth had a goal and an assist as the Oilers snapped a season-worst six-game losing skid, beating Nashville 5-1.

    SOURCE: AP


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