Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 6, Jets 3

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The Chicago Blackhawks downed the Winnipeg Jets 6-3 Thursday night at the MTS Centre to remain in first place in the Central Division.

How it happened: The Blackhawks went up on a goal at the 17:26 mark of the first period. Patrick Kane sniped one past Ondrej Pavelec to give the Hawks a well-deserved lead. Brandon Saad extended the lead to two 3:03 into the second period on a nice feed from Marian Hossa. The Jets finally woke up after that, scoring :19 later and then :26 after that to tie the game at two apiece. Jonathan Toews impressed the fans in attendance with an incredible solo effort to take the lead at the 11:03 mark, but the Jets wouldn’t go away, and after the Hawks found themselves down two men, Dustin Byfuglien potted his sixth of the season to tie the game once again, capping off a five-goal second frame. Chicago, still reeling from a nasty 5-1 defeat on Tuesday night, pulled away in the third with goals from Hossa and Ben Smith and never looked back. Patrick Sharp found the empty net to kill off the Jets for good.

What it means: The Blackhawks rebounded from a tough 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche with the win in Winnipeg Thursday night. With the victory the Hawks stood their ground in first place in the Central Division after the St. Louis Blues picked up two points in a shootout win over the Boston Bruins tonight.

Player of the game: Hossa. In his first game back after being out with a lower-body injury, Hossa scored and added an assist. Toews added one goal and three assists himself.

Stat of the game: Three players scored a goal and added an assist on the night. Toews, Hossa and Kane all registered a goal and a helper each for the Blackhawks.

What’s next: Winnipeg was just the start of a six-game Western road swing for the Blackhawks. Chicago will head out to Vancouver, where the Hawks will face the rival Canucks Saturday night at the Rogers Arena.