CHICAGO (AP) — Emergency goaltender Scott Foster played the final 14 minutes after Chicago lost Anton Forsberg and Collin Delia to injuries, closing out the Blackhawks’ 6-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.
It was Foster’s first competitive action since 20 minutes in relief with Western Michigan University in the 2005-06 season.
Forsberg was expected to start, but he was scratched after the team said he got hurt during warmups. Delia, who was just recalled from the minors Wednesday, then stopped 25 of 27 shots in his NHL debut before he was helped off the ice in the third period due to a lower-body injury.
Enter Foster, a 36-year-old former college goalie. After a short warmup, the game resumed and Foster got a big cheer from the crowd of 21,839 when he denied Tyler Myers for his first save about a minute after he came in.
Backed by chants of “Foster! Foster!” and more loud ovations down the stretch, he finished with seven stops against the playoff-bound Jets, winners of six in a row.
It was a wild finish to one of Chicago’s best performances in a lousy season.
Tomas Jurco scored a career-high two goals in Brent Seabrook’s 1,000th regular-season game, and touted prospect Dylan Sikura had two assists in his NHL debut. Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and defenseman Erik Gustafsson each had a goal and an assist, and Brandon Saad also scored.
The 32-year-old Seabrook got the start alongside fellow alternate captain and frequent defensive partner Duncan Keith. He became the fifth player in franchise history to skate in 1,000 or more games for the team, joining Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Eric Nesterenko and Bob Murray.
Bryan Little scored his 200th NHL goal for Winnipeg in the opener of a four-game trip. Mark Scheifele also scored for the Jets, and Eric Comrie made 36 saves while subbing for starter Connor Hellebuyck.
Kane got Chicago off to a fast start when he shot it between Comrie’s legs for his 27th goal 3:34 into the first, and the Blackhawks just poured it on from there. Saad made it 2-0 with a nifty move to his backhand in front at 17:17.
Jurco added two goals in the second before Little got Winnipeg on the board with his 16th at 14:24. But Gustafsson responded for the Blackhawks, scoring on a nice rush to the net at 17:27.
NOTES: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews remains out with an upper-body injury.
Jets: Visit Toronto on Saturday night.
Blackhawks: Visit Colorado on Friday night.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
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