David Kampf scored his first NHL goal to make his 23rd birthday truly worth celebrating and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Jeff Glass stopped 31 shots to lead their team to a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night in Chicago.
Kampf also collected an assist to net his first career two-point game and Glass - who was drafted in 2004 and spent years toiling in the minors and overseas while hoping for an NHL shot, including seven seasons in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League - improved his record for the Blackhawks to 3-1-1, a clutch performance for a squad that’s been without No. 1 goaltender Corey Crawford for almost three weeks due to an upper-body injury.
Thanks to their win over the Central Division-leading Jets, the Blackhawks vault back into a top-eight spot in the Western Conference.
Kampf broke a scoreless deadlock nearly five minutes into the second period by neatly deflecting Connor Murphy’s point shot behind Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck to net his first big-league goal in his ninth game.
Kampf then had a hand in Jan Rutta’s winning goal late in the middle frame. Rutta beat Hellebuyck with a sharp-angled wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle for his fifth tally of the season.
Anthony Duclair, who was acquired on Wednesday from the Arizona Coyotes and skated on a line with Kampf and Rutta, collected an assist in his Blackhawks debut.
Patrick Laine replied for the Jets late in the third period, his 20th goal of the season, but the visitors couldn’t find the equalizer.
Prior to Laine’s goal, the closest Winnipeg came to scoring was when the hosts came within inches of an own goal, but Chicago’s Gustav Forsling chased down the puck from the offensive zone just before the a teammate’s errant pass went into his own net on a delayed Winnipeg penalty.
Hellebuyck stopped 25 shots for the Jets, who went into the game riding a three-game winning streak and unbeaten in regulation in seven outings.
Chicago will play host to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday before enjoying its bye week, while the Jets will face the Minnesota Wild on Saturday before having a break.
--Field Level Media