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Michael Hutchinson stops 45 shots as Jets beat Blackhawks 3-1

WINNIPEG – Michael Hutchinson has no problem rising to the challenge of playing the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Winnipeg Jets back-up goaltender made a career-high 45 saves Thursday in a 3-1 victory over the reigning Stanley Cup champions, improving his career record against the Blackhawks to 4-0-1.

“It’s just one of those teams that sometimes you have it where things just go your way,” Hutchinson said.

The victory halted Chicago’s four-game winning streak (6-4-0).

The Jets (6-3-1) held a 2-1 edge heading into the third period on goals by Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd, both set up by centre Bryan Little.

Mark Scheifele padded the lead at 8:04 when he took a pass from rookie Nikolaj Ehlers and beat goalie Corey Crawford on the short side.

Scheifele heaped praise on Hutchinson, who is 4-0 this season and has a .949 save percentage and 1.75 goals-against average backing up starter Ondrej Pavelec.

“He was awesome all night. That’s about it,” Scheifele said. “He was unbelievable for us tonight. He kept us in it, especially in that first period. He had an awesome game.”

Patrick Kane scored the game’s first goal, his sixth of the season, 1:26 into the match on a power play.

Crawford was riding four straight wins and a pair of shutouts into the game. He stopped 28 shots in defeat.

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