Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews rally Blackhawks past Ducks
By Adam L. Jahns firstname.lastname@example.org November 25, 2011 11:24PM
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp combined for four goals in the third period to rally the Blackhawks from a two-goal deficit. | Jeff Gross~Getty Images
Updated: December 27, 2011 8:10AM
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Things looked bleak at one point. Thanks to an awful start and some unsuccessful special teams, the Blackhawks seemed destined for another disappointing loss on what had become a very disappointing road trip.
But then Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp came through.
They combined for four goals and two assists in the third period as the Hawks rallied for a 6-5 victory Friday against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center.
Sharp finished with a hat trick, and Toews had the first five-point game of his career with two goals and three assists.
“It’s a big win for us because of how things have been going lately,” said Toews, who had four points in the third. “We have to feel we’re over the hump, but we’ve got to carry that effort into [Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings] as well.”
Considering how ugly the Hawks’ trip had gotten in Edmonton and Calgary, they will happily settle for a .500 record on their six-game trip if they can beat the Kings at the Staples Center.
To do that, a better start will go a long way. The Hawks fell behind 2-0 in the first 2:13 against the Ducks and were playing catch-up all game, also falling behind 3-1 in the first and 4-2 to start the third period despite settling in defensively.
“That work ethic was there,” Toews said. “We just have to limit a few little mistakes. That was a dangerous team that if you leave a few guys open, they have their heads up all the way and find plays backdoor and make you pay for it.”
The Hawks have those players, too. And they clicked in the third period despite a solid second as coach Joel Quenneville altered his lines and defensive pairings in search of more momentum.
Down by two goals entering the third, defenseman Duncan Keith (two assists) fired a shot that hit off Toews’ skate and in at the 1:04 mark. Just 28 seconds later, Sharp tied it after nice plays by Toews and Viktor Stalberg (two assists). Two minutes later, Sharp gave the Hawks the lead.
“We didn’t really change the way we played for 60 minutes, and that’s a sign of a good team,” said Sharp, who also scored the Hawks’ first goal for his first hat trick since 2007.
The Ducks, who dropped their sixth game in a row, were led, as always, by their top line. Bobby Ryan had two goals, Corey Perry a goal and an assist and Ryan Getzlaf two assists. Teemu Selanne also scored on the power play.
The Hawks, on the other hand, were able to avoid a four-game losing streak with another strong defensive game and with defenseman Brent Seabrook back in the lineup.
After the tough start, the Hawks held the Ducks to five shots in the second and in check for most of the third while chasing Jonas Hiller (five goals on 33 shots). The Hawks had a season-high 42 shots, including Dave Bolland’s power-play goal.
“It was a great effort across the board,” Quenneville said. “We got into the game a couple of minutes late, but I still think we were battling in that first period. . . . We battled hard all night.”