Blackhawks

Sharp's 2nd goal sends Hawks to overtime win

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Sharp's 2nd goal sends Hawks to overtime win

UNIONDALE, N.Y. When coach Joel Quenneville talks about Marian Hossas game, he doesnt just focus on the offense the right wing provides.

But that offense is nevertheless a pretty nice part of his game.

Hossa scored his 400th career goal and added two assists, and Patrick Sharp had two goals including the overtime game-winner as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Thursday night. The Blackhawks remain three points behind first-place Minnesota, who won in Los Angeles late Thursday night.

Ray Emery was strong in his start, stopping 31 of 33 shots for his fifth victory this season. Quenneville said theyll consider Emery for Sunday when the Blackhawks host the San Jose Sharks.

We like the situation; we have some things to consider, Quenneville said. Hes earned an opportunity to get back in the net so well look at it. Ray looked big, looked good and he continues to get points for us. It was a big win for him and us as well.

As for Hossa, No. 400 wasnt his most stylish. He was behind the net when his pass toward Isles goaltender Al Montoya bounced off him and in the net. But the goal, which came on the power play, was memorable nonetheless.

It means something but on the other hand I didnt think about it too much, said Hossa, who added Sharp picked up the puck for him. I got the puck, tried to basically make the pass to (Jonathan) Toews and it hit a goalie stick or skate. It was one of the lucky ones.

Sharp won the game 1:34 into overtime when he and Hossa broke away on a 2 on 1. Hossas shot banked off Montoya, and Sharp was there to wrist it in for his 15th of the season.

It was nice to get a couple (goals) on even strength today, Sharp said. (Hossa) made a nice play on that last goal there. He didnt have a pass so he just shot it off the pad and got a nice bounce.

The Blackhawks were also sounder on the defensive side, keeping the breakaways and odd-man rushes to a minimum. They also held fast when the Islanders had 1:56 of 5 on 3 late in the second and early in the third.

That was a huge kill, Duncan Keith said. We were trying to be smart with the puck (defensively). Youre never going to be perfect out there, but I think when they had some chances, Razor made some big saves.

The Blackhawks werent too happy losing their 2-0 lead in this one but they hung in there. Their all-around game was better, Hossa and Sharp provided a great scoring tandem and Emery has given Quenneville one of those tough decisions he loves having to make.

Thats a pretty balanced night.

They got back into the game but we didnt quit and we got the opportunity to win in overtime, Emery said. It was a pretty solid game all around.

After snapping 12-game goal drought, Alex DeBrincat hoping 'I can get hot again'

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AP

After snapping 12-game goal drought, Alex DeBrincat hoping 'I can get hot again'

BOSTON — Alex DeBrincat isn't used to going through long stretches without scoring a goal. He found the back of the net 41 times last season, which was tied for sixth amongst all skaters.

But the offense hasn't come as naturally for him this season. 

While he's dishing out assists at a career-high rate (0.50 per game), DeBrincat had only five goals through 27 games going into Thursday and was on pace to finish the season with 15. The longest goal drought of his NHL career is 13 games, which came during his rookie season, and he was on the verge of tying that mark.

But after breaking through in the third period of Thursday's 4-3 overtime win over the Boston Bruins, DeBrincat ended a 12-game drought for his first goal since Nov. 7. And he's hoping it will open the floodgates.

"It was a long time between goals," DeBrincat said. "But hopefully I can get hot again and keep going."

DeBrincat didn't show it, but the frustration was brewing inside. In Saturday's 7-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche he couldn't convert on an open backdoor chance and took out his anger on Samuel Girard by picking a fight with the 5-foot-10, 170-pound defenseman.

DeBrincat is a goal scorer and he wasn't scoring. With the monkey off his back, perhaps this could propel his offensive production.

"He's been playing well, getting chances," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "They just haven't gone in for him. Hopefully this is the little boost that he needs."

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Blackhawks pick up marquee overtime win in Boston, but will it serve as jump-start to something bigger?

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USA Today

Blackhawks pick up marquee overtime win in Boston, but will it serve as jump-start to something bigger?

BOSTON — The Blackhawks knew Thursday's matchup against the Boston Bruins was going to be a serious test. They had lost three in a row (0-3-0) and six of their past seven games (1-5-1) and were running into a Bruins team that was aiming for their ninth consecutive win.

To make things more challenging, the Blackhawks were without Duncan Keith (groin) for the fourth straight game, Andrew Shaw (concussion protocol) for the second time and Olli Maatta (flu-like symptoms). It was going to be a measuring stick kind of game for the Blackhawks against the reigning Eastern Conference champions, especially after getting blown out 4-0 to the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in their previous outing.

The Blackhawks were slightly the better team through the first 40 minutes, capitalizing on a couple of chances and killing off four penalties against the NHL's second-ranked power play unit to take a 2-0 lead into the second intermission. But you knew the Bruins, who had yet to lose in regulation at home this season (12-0-4), were going to push back hard in their own building and they did.

After Alex DeBrincat scored 17 seconds — how fitting? — into the third period to make it 3-0, the Bruins responded 1:32 later and that's when the ride turned in a hurry.

The Bruins peppered the Blackhawks with 11 even-strength scoring chances in the third period, according to Natural Stat Trick, after having 12 in the first two periods combined and scored three straight to force overtime. Chris Wagner took advantage of an Erik Gustafsson tire blowout on a 2-on-1 opportunity by scoring a shorthanded goal to cut the Blackhawks' lead to 3-2 with 4:59 left in regulation and Torey Krug tied it up at 3-3 just 2:26 later.

But Jonathan Toews salvaged the second point for the Blackhawks by scoring on a breakaway 54 seconds into overtime to give his club a much-needed 4-3 victory against arguably the NHL's best team.

"I think we did a good job of hanging in there," Toews said of the Bruins' third-period push. "We're not happy with giving up the lead for sure. ... But it's nice to get the win even though they turned the momentum late in the game."

It was a win the Blackhawks can feel good about from the perspective that every guy played an important role. 

Ryan Carpenter scored a shorthanded goal for his first of the season, DeBrincat (12 games) and Toews (seven) each ended their goal droughts, Dylan Strome had a multi-point effort after missing four games with a concussion, Connor Murphy had a two-assist night, Calvin de Haan led all skaters with 25:26 of ice time and Robin Lehner stopped 37 of 40 shots for a save percentage of .925 after getting pulled in his last start.

The Blackhawks were desperate for a win and they got it, even though it was an ugly finish.

"We knew it was a great opportunity because we haven't played up to par for a long period of time," Lehner said. "We know we have to change the tide and this was a great opportunity to do so. As I've said before we've shown in spurts we're a good team, we've just got to start doing it consistently. It's the same thing in the third period today. We were doing some things that were unacceptable that we need to just take out of our game and then we'll be fine. We have the right personnel on this team to be a good team."

While they will certainly take the two points on the road, the Blackhawks know it won't matter unless they turn this into something larger. They've slipped near the bottom of the Western Conference and are trying to climb their way back up yet again.

And there's an opportunity for the Blackhawks to earn four points in a 48-hour span on Friday against a New Jersey Devils squad that has the second-fewest points (22) of any team and second-worst goal differential (minus-32).

"We had a little run there after we had a big win in Nashville," Toews said. "Whether we win a string of games together, we can build off games like this. We had the start we needed tonight and carried it through 60 for the most part. It's got to be a confidence builder when you beat a team like Boston in their own building but what matters is what we do next. We got another chance to build off it tomorrow night."

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