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Chicago Blackhawks' Brandon Bollig shoots and scores against Winnipeg Jets goalie Al Montoya in the 1st period at the United Center in Chicago on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. (Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Blackhawks collapse in 3rd vs. Jets, drop 3rd straight

CHICAGO -- As his teammates dejectedly filtered out of a dead-silent dressing room, captain Jonathan Toews stood in front of his stall, hands on hips, ready to explain exactly how the Blackhawks had frittered away a victory after thoroughly outplaying the Jets.

Only he couldn't, really.

"We just threw away another two points," Toews said after the Hawks allowed the Jets to score three times in the third period to rally for a 3-1 win Sunday night at the United Center. "I don't know. I don't really have an explanation right now without saying anything negative. We played some good hockey in the first two periods. We know what we're supposed to do in those situations, but we just haven't done it lately.

"It's frustrating to come out and have that kind of lackluster effort where we find ourselves on our heels to a team that just kind of has nothing to lose in the third period," Toews added. "Nothing really good to say about the finish of that game."

Trailing 1-0 with just six shots on goal after two periods, the Jets came alive in the third with Blake Wheeler's two goals and the game-winner from former Hawks winger Andrew Ladd to stun goaltender Corey Crawford. Chicago native Al Montoya was magnificent in goal for the Jets with 34 saves, stopping everything after allowing a goal by Brandon Bollig 1 minute, 21 seconds into the game.

"That win is all (Montoya)," said Ladd, who beat Crawford with a wrist shot from the slot. "He gave us a chance heading into the third. We talked about it in this room, we were only down one (and) we still had a chance to win the game. We wanted to reward him for playing out of his mind in the first two periods."

Said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville: "Tough loss, for sure, for sure, for sure, for sure. Because we didn't play the same way in the third period, but you know they're going to get a turn and we're going to get some defensive zone shifts and we have to play the right way. We were a little bit uncomfortable in our own end when we did have zone time, which shouldn't happen."

So instead of heading into a six-game road trip before the three-week Olympic break with momentum, the Hawks instead will travel to Calgary on Monday on a three-game losing streak. The high they achieved with inspired wins over top teams the Ducks and Bruins in the last eight days is a thing of the past.

"We had two good games against Anaheim and Boston and I felt like we were starting to see the light as far as getting our game back and getting four lines rolling and putting all the pieces together," Toews said. "And the last three have been kind of back to that sloppy style of play that we were playing before that. We need to get rid of these bad habits and get rid of them fast."

(c)2014 Chicago Tribune

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

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