Blackhawks

Sharp enjoying eight-game scoring streak

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Sharp enjoying eight-game scoring streak

Life is pretty nice for Patrick Sharp right now.

Off the ice, the Blackhawks left wing is enjoying the family life after becoming a first-time father last week. On the ice, things are pretty harmonious, too. A scoring streak will do that for you.

Sharp is riding a career-high, eight-game scoring streak, extended to that on Friday night when he had a goal and an assist in the Blackhawks 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. For Sharp, scoring is nothing new. He tallied 34 goals last season, two shy of his career-best 36 from 2007-08. But hes been as effective helping (five assists) as his has scoring goals (seven) on this latest streak, which is currently the longest in the NHL.

I dont know if its any one thing in particular, he said Saturday. I dont know if its a hot streak or luck, but I feel like Im working hard, were working hard as a line and the pucks going in.

That line of Sharp, Marian Hossa and Marcus Kruger has been effective. Hossa himself is on a four-game scoring streak (three goals, five assists).

Sharp was an offensive threat from the start last season. This October wasnt quite as productive, but it didnt help that he missed training camp after an emergency appendectomy. Still it was only a matter of time.

And staying put has also helped. Sharps been at wing all season, as the Blackhawks have used Patrick Kane and Kruger, instead, at that No. 2 center spot.

In October I re-learned position again, finding out opportunities to take off and what your responsibilities are. Its starting to come pretty natural, Sharp said. Our power plays clicking, too. All of that adds up to pretty good numbers.

Coach Joel Quenneville said, "Weve been relatively healthy and we havent done too much in the change department (at center). (Sharps) playing very well for us this year, and that lines been good together.

Every player goes through his streaks and slumps. Sharp just happens to be in the midst of his streak right now, and hell enjoy it as long as it lasts.

Ive said many times you dont know when next goals going to come, he said. So Ill keep working hard and hopefully it comes tomorrow.

Briefly

Daniel Carcillo (upper body) did not practice on Saturday and Quenneville said hes likely out tomorrow against the Calgary Flames. Quenneville added that Carcillo is feeling better.

Forward Ben Smith was sent back to the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday morning. Quenneville said they wanted him playing tonight, when the IceHogs host the Milwaukee Admirals.

Ray Emery will get his fifth consecutive start tomorrow night.

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' 4-2 win over Coyotes: Puck don't lie

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' 4-2 win over Coyotes: Puck don't lie

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night:
 
1. Surviving a crazy first period.

The Blackhawks committed four penalties in the opening frame within a 2:18 span, and escaped unscathed from it despite a pair of 5-on-3 opportunities for the Coyotes.

Of course, the only goal allowed in the period came from a fluke deflection off Jordan Oesterle's stick and slipped underneath Corey Crawford's five-hole.

Joel Quenneville likes to say the team that takes advantage of their 5-on-3 opportunities has a pretty good chance to win the game. It applied in this case, with the Blackhawks coming out victorious after surviving that stretch.

2. Power play comes alive early.

The Blackhawks got off on the right foot in an area that has been an issue for them this season, capitalizing on their first power play of the game 24 seconds into it when Richard Panik redirected a Jonathan Toews shot that tricked past Louis Domingue.

Good thing too, because it was the only man advantage they'd get. Well, excluding the power play they received with 17 seconds left in regulation when the game was already decided. 
 
3. Another controversial review in Arizona.

What's with it with controversial reviews in Arizona and the Blackhawks being on the wrong end of the call?

The Blackhawks appeared to have taken a 3-1 lead when Tommy Wingels converted on a penalty shot, but it was overturned after officials reviewed it and determined the Coyotes netminder got a stick on Wingels' initial shot. Replays didn't exactly show conclusive evidence, but the NHL released a statement proving otherwise:

Video review determined that Wingels shot the puck into the net after Arizona goaltender Louis Domingue made contact with the puck. According to Rule 24.2, "No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind."

Shortly after, the Coyotes scored in the final minutes of the period to even up the score at 2-2 in a big turn of events at the time.
 
4. ... But puck don't lie.

The overturned penalty shot didn't matter in the end though, because the Blackhawks came away with the victory and Wingels ended up getting his first goal after all on an empty netter that iced the game.

It was Wingels' first goal as a member of his hometown team, and it was well deserved for a guy who was part of the fourth line that turned in arguably their best performance of the season.
 
5. Lance Bouma rewarded with game-winning goal.

Speaking of which, it was fitting that Bouma scored the game winner with 4:24 left in the third period because that trio of Bouma, Wingels and John Hayden was around the net for the majority of the night.

They combined for two goals and two assists, had eight attempts shot attempts (five on goal), eight of the team's 16 hits and four blocked shots.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks visit Niklas Hjalmarsson, Coyotes

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks visit Niklas Hjalmarsson, Coyotes

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Arizona Coyotes Saturday night on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Niklas Hjalmarsson's new home.

Brace yourselves, Chicago. It's going to be a weird site seeing Hjalmarsson in a different sweater other than the Blackhawks, where he spent his first 10 NHL seasons and won three Stanley Cups.

Now he serves as an alternate captain and blue-line anchor for the Coyotes, who are the only team still seeking its first win of the season. You know they'll be hungry to snap that skid, especially when there's extra motivation for a player on their team facing a bunch of old friends.

2. Connor Murphy returns to Arizona, too.

The man Hjalmarsson was traded for will also be returning to a place he called home for four years. Murphy's role with the Coyotes increased every year before he was dealt to the Blackhawks as part of a shake-up for both teams, so you know he's going to play with something to prove.

Murphy is a physical defenseman, and has laid several notable big hits this season. His former teammates surely know it, and may want to keep their heads up.

3. Patrick Kane 2.0?

Ever since he was drafted with the No. 7 overall pick in 2016, Clayton Keller has drawn comparisons to Kane. They're both undersized, offensive playmakers, possess supreme stick-handling abilities and are American-born players.

Keller got a brief taste of NHL action last year, but he's secured a full-time spot with the Coyotes this season and has been arguably their best player so far.

The 19-year-old forward paces all rookies with five goals and ranks second with seven points, and leads the Coyotes in both categories. Expect to see his name as a finalist for the Calder Trophy for the league's top rookie at the end of the season.