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NHL: Montoya makes sweet homecoming against Hawks

Published: Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 10:17 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Charles Rex Arbogast)
Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya (27) keeps Jets right wing Blake Wheeler (26) away from a loose puck, as goalie Corey Crawford defends during Sunday's game in Chicago. The Blackhawks lost 3-1.

CHICAGO – Al Montoya's sweet homecoming was one sour night for Jonathan Toews and Co.

Montoya made 34 saves in his first win in his hometown, and Andrew Ladd scored his 150th goal, leading the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-1 victory over the slumping Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

"This is very special. I've been waiting for this one since I was a kid," said Montoya, who dropped his first two career starts at Chicago. "I can't even describe it, all my friends, all my family in the stands. I've had some close ones, some good games in here, but this one takes it."

Blake Wheeler had two third-period goals, as Winnipeg (25-24-5) won for the second straight day, improving to 6-1 under new coach Paul Maurice. It also averted a season sweep by the Blackhawks, who won each of the first three games between the teams.

"That win right there is just a great sign of character," Maurice said.

Chicago (32-10-12) controlled the first two periods of its last home game before the Olympic break, but still went on to its third three-game slide of the season. The Stanley Cup champions open a 7-game trip Tuesday night in Calgary, and will not play again in Chicago until they take on Pittsburgh at Soldier Field on March 1.

Brandon Bollig scored in the first for the Blackhawks, and Corey Crawford had 18 saves.

"We just threw away another two points," Toews said. "I don't really have an explanation without seeming negative."

The Blackhawks got Duncan Keith back after the defensemen missed Thursday night's 2-1 loss at Minnesota due to an illness. But coach Joel Quenneville scratched forward Bryan Bickell, who has struggled since returning from a lower-body injury.

"Coach's decision. We need a lot more," Quenneville said. "We're looking for more."

Chicago led 1-0 before Wheeler sent a rebound over Crawford's right glove at 8:16 of the third for his 20th goal. Marian Hossa then had a turnover deep in the Blackhawks' end, and Ladd buried the open look against his former team for the tiebreaking goal at 12:53, drawing groans from the sellout crowd at the United Center.

 

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