It's the start of a busy several days for Chicago, which goes home Sunday to face the Calgary Flames, travels to Washington on Monday to be honored by President Obama for winning the Cup and then heads back to United Center again for a return engagement with Winnipeg.
The Blackhawks have been off since Tuesday and probably needed that time to recover after a barnburner against the Ottawa Senators. Trailing 4-2 midway through the second period, they rallied for a 6-5 win behind a natural hat trick from captain Jonathan Toews.
"I think there's a lot of games this season, whatever our [line] was, we were always creating something and [there were] some frustrating nights where it just didn't go in," said Toews, who also set up a Marian Hossa goal. "Guys were getting great chances and pucks didn't go in for us and we got nothing to show for it. So, it's nice as a line that we could get a few tonight."
Like its opponent, Winnipeg also enters Saturday's matinee off three days' rest, but the result Tuesday was a lot less satisfying for the Jets. Despite coming back twice from one-goal deficits, they suffered a tough 3-2 loss to the visiting St. Louis Blues.
Blake Wheeler's power-play goal and Bryan Little's shorthander had the Jets in position to grab at least a point from another of their division rivals. But a late penalty by defenseman Tobias Enstrom led to an Alexander Steen power-play goal with 59.4 seconds remaining in regulation.
"We're shooting ourselves in the foot, taking penalties with a couple minutes left," Little said in The Winnipeg Free Press. "It's frustrating. Our penalty kill had been good tonight for the most part. We've got to find a way to close these games out and at least give ourselves a chance."