IN BRIEF: After missing home opener, Sharp returns a winner
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The hardest part for Blackhawks center Patrick Sharp was taking off his equipment.
Sharp saw 15:35 of playing time Monday against the Buffalo Sabres after sitting out Saturday's home opener against the Detroit Red Wings with what was described as an upper-body injury by the team, but was most likely a slight concussion.
Sharp took part in the red-carpet walk-in and later the Stanley Cup banner raising and the player introductions in his equipment.
''It would have been the first time on home ice since the playoffs. It was really disappointing,'' Sharp said Monday. ''It was different not taking the pregame stuff and getting warmed up and all ready for the game. Once I was actually out there and hearing the crowd cheer, I didn't want to get off the ice.''
Sharp said he was hurt in a ''big hit'' with Colorado Avalanche goalie Craig Anderson in the season opener.
''I was a little jarred,'' said Sharp, who was cleared to play. ''We got enough doctors and training staff here to make their decisions. I probably could have suited up. Knowing how big that game was, for personal reasons, it was really tough to sit out. But they felt it was best that I miss at least one. I feel good now.''
Playing in Buffalo is always special for Patrick Kane, a South Buffalo native. But Kane also got a kick out of his seeing his parents, Patrick Sr. and Donna, on the United Center's jumbotron during the ''Kiss Cam'' segment on Saturday.
''I was on the ice kind of laughing,'' Kane said. ''I talked to my dad after. He said he was kind of shocked. You look up and you watch, and you're just watching to see who's on. He said they put him on and he kind of didn't react. My mom has been talking about it forever. She just wants to get on. Once she saw herself on, she probably reacted a little bit quicker. It was pretty neat.''
Kane had plenty of friends and family in attendance Monday. Does he still think about playing for his hometown Sabres one day-
''Not really anymore,'' Kane said. ''That was kind of a dream coming into the league. The position we're in now, I can't really complain. It doesn't get too much better than this. For right now, I can't think about playing anywhere else.''
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With Nick Boynton back in the lineup, defenseman Jordan Hendry was a healthy scratch for the second game in a row. Hendry only played 5:53 in the season opener against the Avalanche.
''He should be able to play more minutes,'' coach Joel Quenneville said. ''His training camp was OK. He gives us some speed and gives us versatility back there. You can move him up front as well. We'll see when he does get back in there, you've got some options with him. But we're looking for a little more.''