Patrick Sharp scores winner in overtime for Blackhawks
By Adam L. Jahns email@example.com December 8, 2011 11:00PM
Patrick Sharp (right) celebrates his game-winning overtime goal with teammate Nick Leddy. | Mike Stobe~Getty Images
Updated: January 10, 2012 8:25AM
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — It was a defensive victory with a couple of star performances.
For a team that has been critical of its defensive efforts, Ray Emery’s strong play in goal, a recently defiant penalty kill and the ability to hold off the surging New York Islanders after they seized momentum were all good signs for the Blackhawks.
Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa provided the offense with two special games as the Hawks pulled out a 3-2 victory in overtime Thursday at the Nassau Coliseum.
Sharp scored twice, including the game-winner 1:34 into overtime, and had an assist. Hossa scored his 400th career goal and assisted on both of Sharp’s goals.
The Islanders, who’ve been playing well lately, made Emery (31 saves) work for his fifth victory by rallying from a 2-0 hole. The Islanders’ only loss in their previous five games was their shootout loss to the Hawks last week.
“We played hard,” defenseman Duncan Keith said. “We were trying to be smart with the puck. You’re never going to be perfect out there. When they had their chances, Ray made some big saves.”
Emery, who got the start in place of struggling starter Corey Crawford, might have played well enough to warrant another start Sunday against the San Jose Sharks. He was beaten on two long shots by defensemen Travis Hamonic and Steve Staios to give up the Hawks’ two-goal lead, but coach Joel Quenneville thought he “was real good.”
“Early in the game, he had a very solid first period, very consistent,” Quenneville said. “[He] looked square, looked big, challenged well and continues to get points for us. It was a big win for him and for us.”
The Hawks came in as one of the least penalized teams in the NHL, but looked nothing like it against the Islanders. They sat in the penalty box six times, hurting their momentum.
But it’s a good thing the Hawks’ penalty kill, which was at the bottom of the league not too long ago, continues to show significant progress. The Islanders had a 5-on-3 power play for nearly two full minutes late in the second and early in the third, but they killed it off. They took care of all of their penalties without yielding a goal, including Daniel Carcillo’s roughing penalty in the final minutes.
“I thought we played a diligent game defensively for the most part and made some big kills, [especially the] 5-on-3,” said Emery, who also made key stops on Islanders star John Tavares in the first period.
The Islanders, though, had few answers for Sharp and Hossa.
Hossa gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead and made some history when his pass from behind the net deflected off Chicago-area native Al Montoya (25 saves) and in at 11:42 during a first-period power play. In the second, he set up Sharp’s first goal with a cross-ice pass.
In overtime, Sharp notched the game-winner after Hossa stole the puck from Staios, started a 2-on-1 breakout and fired on Montoya, leaving a rebound.
“Congratulations to Hossa for scoring his 400th goal; it’s a really impressive stat if you punch the numbers,” said Sharp, who has 15 goals this season. “[And] he made a nice play on the final goal there. He didn’t have the pass, so he shot it off the pad, and it was a nice bounce. . . . It was one I wanted to put in, for sure.”