Sunday afternoon, an intense game between the two previous Stanley Cup winners took place – the Chicago Blackhawks against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Chicago scored early to take the lead and got one past the goal in the shootout for the win.
Patrick Kane scored the only goal in the shootout to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.
Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell scored in regulation for the Blackhawks in their third straight game without coach Joel Quenneville, who is recovering from gastrointestinal bleeding caused by an ulcer. Assistant coach Mike Haviland was in charge in Quenneville’s absence.
Corey Crawford had 24 saves for Chicago.
Matt Cooke had a short-handed score for Pittsburgh, and Brett Sterling fired in a rebound from the edge of the crease with 3:18 left in the third period to tie it at 2-all. Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 29 saves, including a point-blank glove save on a shot by Chicago’s Michael Frolik.
Kane connected in the third round of the shootout after Fleury stopped Jonathan Toews and Sharp. Crawford blocked shots by Kris Letang and Tyler Kennedy after Pascal Dupuis hit the post on the Penguins’ first attempt.
The Penguins played without nine injured players, including star forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Crosby hasn’t played since Jan. 5 due to a concussion and Malkin is recovering from knee surgery.
Sharp scored the only goal of the first period at 10:07 as Chicago’s top line of Sharp, Toews and Kane used a series of quick passes to exploit Pittsburgh’s coverage breakdown. Sharp fired in his team-leading 31st goal – five shy of his career best set in 2007-08 – on a one-time shot from the slot after taking a feed from Toews.
Cooke’s short-handed goal with 6:08 left in the second period tied it at 1. Cooke completed a 2-on-1 break by taking Maxime Talbot’s feed and firing it past Crawford after Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook had sprawled to try to break up the pass.
Bryan Bickell’s screened goal 1:09 into the third period put Chicago ahead 2-1. He surprised Fleury with a floating 45-foot wrist shot from the left boards as Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek apparently blocked Fleury’s view.
Crawford stopped a shot by Kennedy late in the third, but the Blackhawks were unable to clear the loose puck and Sterling got the tying goal into an open net.
NOTES: Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement that Quenneville’s condition was brought on by aspirin and that he is resting at home following his release on Saturday from a the hospital. No date has been set for the coach’s return. … Chicago C Ryan Johnson returned after missing three games with a concussion. … Pittsburgh forward Nick Johnson missed his first game with an upper-body injury. … The crowd of 22,195 was the Blackhawks’ largest this season.
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