The Chicago Blackhawks avoided a third straight loss and moved back into the third seed in the Central Division with a 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
After talking about needing to match the Jets’ desperation heading into Sunday’s tilt, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews scored the game-winner with 30.8 seconds remaining.
“We knew we had to get two points whether it was tying it up and going to overtime,’ said Patrick Sharp. “Obviously what we did was much better, but we knew the importance with how things were going and how viable those points are at this time of the year. [The third] was a big period for us.”
The Blackhawks win drops the Minnesota Wild into the first wild card position. The Jets hold the second wild card seed.
Jets’ defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who was throwing his weight around all game, had two goals in the loss. Blake Wheeler had a short-handed goal.
“It was nice to see us comeback and win a game from behind,” Sharp said. “We got a few lucky bounces there, but I thought we were much more patient in our game tonight. It felt a lot better all through the lineup.
“We scored some big goals and it was great to get the two points.”
Andrew Shaw, Brad Richards and Sharp had the other Blackhawks’ goals while Corey Crawford made 31 saves for this 31st win of the season.
Sharp was the benefactor of Jets’ defenseman Toby Enstrom getting tied up with the linesman on the game-tying goal at 6:27 of the third.
“I saw the puck in between him and the linesman and it was a stick length away,” said Sharp. “I knew he was kind of tied up and in a little bit of trouble. That’s an unfortunate play for them. Fortunate for us. I’ve hit my fair share of posts so its nice to get a good bounce.”
The goal was Sharp’s 14th of the season and second in seven games.
“You’re angry when it happens. There isn’t anything you can do about it,” said Jets’ coach Paul Maurice.
Ondrej Pavelec stopped 20 shots in the loss.
Winnipeg, who had won six of seven entering the game, has now lost two of three.