|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NHLThe Chicago Blackhawks cruised to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday night as Patrick Kane scored the only goal during the shootout. The Hawks had an early lead in the first period after Patrick Sharp scored their first goal at 10:07 after a series of quick passes. He was assisted by Jonathan Toews and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
During the second period, Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke tied the game near the six-minute mark, but in the third, the Hawks regained the lead with an early goal from Bryan Bickell at 1:09 into the period. With just over three minutes remaining in the third period, though, Brett Sterling of the Penguins got the puck past Chicago's defense to tie the game at 2-2.
The Penguins' goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had 29 saves during the game, and stopped the Blackhawks during the first two rounds of the shootout. But after blocking shots from Kris Letang and Tyler Kennedy, Kane got a shot past Fleury to win the game for Chicago.
Both teams were a bit shorthanded tonight. Chicago was missing head coach Joel Quenneville, who is still recovering from an ulcer which caused gastro-intestinal bleeding. Assistant coach Mike Haviland took over for the game. The Penguins were missing nine injured players, including their two star forwards Evgeni Malkin, who has a knee injury, and Sidney Crosby, who suffered a concussion. Forward Nick Johnson also missed the game due to an upper-body injury.
Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford ended the game with 24 saves. After this game, the Hawks are currently four points out of the Western Conference Playoffs, while the Penguins are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks now travel to St. Louis for a Monday game against the Blues. The Penguins head back to Pittsburgh to await the Washington Capitals for a Monday night face-off.