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Blackhawks making a sharp point
Patrick Sharp might want to secure a keepsake video of his overtime game-winning goal Friday night. It's not every day that you go around a future Hall of Famer and end the game.
Sharp beat Detroit's all-world defenseman, Nicklas Lidstrom, cut across the slot and fired a backhander past Chris Osgood to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 victory over the Red Wings, their first in seven meetings against Detroit this season.
"I wanted to get as much speed as I could and hang on to the puck," Sharp said. "The ice was bad, and the puck was bouncing. I just wanted to cut to the middle as quickly as I could."
Sharp's 11th goal of the season was the perfect tonic after the Wings once again rallied in the final seconds to force overtime. Pavel Datsyuk redirected a perfect pass from Brendan Shanahan with 46 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game 2-2.
On Dec. 23 at the United Center, the Wings scored twice in the final minute to force overtime and again with one second left in overtime to stun the Hawks.
"It's nice that we kept our poise and went out there and played," Hawks coach Trent Yawney said of the overtime. "We've been down that path before."
The victory gave the Hawks back-to-back triumphs for the first time since Dec. 7 and 11.
"A game like this shows the guys we can play with any team when we play our system," captain Martin Lapointe said.
It looked for a while like Lapointe, a former Wing, would have the game-winner. He finished off a three-on-one started by rookie defenseman Dustin Byfuglien at 14:31 of the third period to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.
Detroit's tying goal came on its last shot of regulation, and its first goal came on its first shot of the game. After the Wings were held without a shot for the first half of the first period, Steve Yzerman beat Nikolai Khabibulin to give Detroit a 1-0 lead at 10:56.
The goal was the 691st of Yzerman's career and moved him past Mario Lemiuex and into eighth place in NHL history.
The last two times the Hawks played Detroit, the Wings chased Khabibulin with eight goals on just 25 shots. But Friday night, Khabibulin remained as sharp as he was Wednesday against St. Louis.
He made 44 saves against the Blues and another 39 Friday against Detroit. Yawney has said Khabibulin thrives on seeing a lot of shots, and the Cup-holding goaltender didn't disagree.
"It's definitely better; it keeps a goalie in the game," Khabibulin said. "[Friday] showed that you still can outwork a more skilled team and get a result."
The Hawks tied the game 1-1 late in the second period when Mark Cullen, making a strong case for the Hawks to find a roster spot for him next season, scored his seventh goal in 19 games.
Yawney said Sharp's game-winning goal could serve as a good lesson for young Hawks defensemen.
"Even the best in the business get beat once in a while," Yawney said.