WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Marian Hossa returned to the lineup and put the Blackhawks ahead for good with a third-period goal as Chicago beat the Winnipeg Jets, 6-3, on Thursday night.
Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad, Jonathan Toews and Ben Smith each scored for the Hawks (15-4-4). Patrick Sharp had an empty-netter, helping the Blackhawks beat the Jets for the third time in three tries this season.
Andrew Ladd, Keaton Ellerby and Dustin Byfuglien scored for the Jets (10-11-3).
The first period was all Hawks, who controlled possession of the puck and outshot Winnipeg 12-2.
Hossa had missed three games with a lower-body injury. He gave the Hawks a 4-3 lead at 3:11 of the third period.
A Winnipeg radio station urged fans to wear helmets to the game in response to the Hawks fan who stole Adam Pardy's helmet after the Jets defenseman was checked through the glass at the United Center on Nov. 6. But the team told fans they wouldn't be allowed in if they showed up with helmets on Thursday night.
There was a heavy police presence at the game but it wasn't because of the rivalry between the two Central Division teams. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in attendance.
Jets fans picked Kane as a target for their boos and he responded with a power-play goal late in the first period thanks to Evander Kane's tripping penalty. Goalie Ondrej Pavelec didn't get much of a look at the shot through heavy traffic.
Saad's one-timer from the slot made it 2-0 just over three minutes into the second.
But the Jets then scored two goals in 29 seconds to tie it.
Bryan Little fed Ladd, whose wrist shot beat Corey Crawford's glove hand at 3:22, and Ellerby used Winnipeg's first power play to score his first goal as a Jet from the point at 3:51.
Toews put the Blackhawks back in the lead with a 4-on-4 goal just past the 11-minute mark, beating out defenseman Toby Enstrom and slipping the puck past Pavelec from the side of the crease.
But Winnipeg came right back on a 5-on-3 opportunity that Byfuglien cashed in at 13:30, with Winnipeg's third shot within seconds on Crawford to even it up a 3.
The Jets bounced back in the second period with a 14-8 advantage in shots.
Hossa put the Blackhawks ahead at 3:11 of the third when he outplayed Ellerby while swinging past the Jets net. He slipped the puck through a very small hole left by Pavelec.
Smith raced in to bang in a rebound for some insurance at 5:22 to make it 5-3.
NOTES: The Jets and Hawks play once more, Jan. 26 at the United Center. ... Ladd and Byfuglien played for the Blackhawks and Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff was assistant GM when the Hawks won a Stanley Cup in 2010. Michael Frolik was with the Hawks when they won the Cup last season. Hawks captain Toews was born in Winnipeg.