Tue, Dec 13, 2011 - Page 19 News List

NHL: Blackhawks score late to secure win over Sharks

Reuters and AP, LOS ANGELES

The Chicago Blackhawks scored two late goals to claim a 3-2 overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

Chicago’s Patrick Sharp netted his second consecutive game-winner with 34 seconds left in overtime to complete an emotional few days after he also recently welcomed the birth of a daughter.

“That was a tough game, personally, to be a part of,” Sharp told reporters, having taken his wife and daughter home from the hospital earlier in the day.

Sharp also made a goal in overtime to beat the New York Islanders on Thursday.

“I did my best to stay focused. It was a pretty emotional goal there. It was a lot of fun to be a part of it. It’s tough to focus on hockey when so much is going on back home,” he said

The Sharks (15-10-2) took early control through Jamie McGinn’s first--period strike. Chicago’s Marcus Kruger netted a tip-in at 7 minutes, 53 seconds in the second to tie the game, but Justin Braun restored San Jose’s lead two minutes later.

With the game heading into the last minute of the third period, the Blackhawks forced overtime on Andrew Brunette’s game-tying score at 18 minutes, 54 seconds.

Sharp went on to score the game-winning goal with just 34 seconds left in overtime.

Marian Hossa assisted on both late goals to help Chicago (18-8-4) extend their lead in the Central Division to three points over Detroit and St Louis.

Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery had 35 saves to get the better of San Jose’s Antti Niemi, who had shut out Chicago in their previous meeting on Nov. 23.

“There was a lot of real good things [for us] early in the game,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “It takes a lot of energy and a lot of gas in the tank to continue that and we just didn’t have it in the third.”

Rangers 6, Panthers 1

In New York, Derek Stepan of the Rangers scored twice, including a pretty coast-to-coast goal just after New York killed a penalty, to set up a convincing win over the Florida Panthers.

Stepan also assisted on Marian Gaborik’s goal late in the second period that made it 5-1 and seemed to take what spring remained out of the Panthers. New York looked nothing like a team playing for the second night in a row, putting away the Panthers comfortably.

Brad Richards, Artem Anisimov and former Panthers defenseman Steve Eminger also scored for New York. Erik Gudbranson scored for Florida.

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