Pittsburgh still the pits for Hawks

SportsField HockeySoccerJassen CullimoreChicago BlackhawksPatrick SharpBryan Smolinski

If there is a team that probably should be hoping the Penguins move anywhere as long as it's out of Pittsburgh, it's the Blackhawks.

Ever since Mario Lemieux beat Eddie Belfour with 12 seconds left in Game 1 of the 1992 Stanley Cup finals—giving the Penguins a victory and the beginning of a four-game sweep—Pittsburgh has not been a good place for the Hawks.

That didn't change Wednesday night when the Penguins blew a two-goal lead only to pull out a 5-4 shootout victory. The Hawks finished their trip with a 4-3 record.

Erik Christenson and Evgeni Malkin scored on Hawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, but Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped shots by Martin Havlat and Bryan Smolinski with glove saves.

Havlat had his consecutive goal-scoring streak stopped at six games. He was robbed of a chance to win the game for the Hawks just 12 seconds into overtime when Fleury made a sprawling toe save.

The Hawks trailed 3-1 before Patrick Sharp, Martin St. Pierre and Tuomo Ruutu scored three straight goals to give them a 4-3 lead.

It was St. Pierre's first NHL goal and came on a power play when he put in a rebound of a Havlat shot.

But Malkin, a leading candidate for rookie of the year, scored his 28th goal of the season to tie the game 4-4 at 14:21 of the third period. Malkin had two whacks at a rebound of a Sidney Crosby shot.

The Hawks are 2-6 in shootouts this season with Khabibulin falling to 2-4. Khabibulin has allowed eight goals on 22 shots.

One-timers

St. Pierre's goal was the third straight game in which the Hawks scored on a power play, the most this season. During the seven-game trip, the Hawks were 6 of 30 on the power play (20 percent), but they gave up their fifth short-handed goal of the season Wednesday when Maxime Talbot scored in the second period. … Since beating Dallas on Dec. 26 to move one game above .500 at 16-15-5, the Hawks are 6-12-3. … Defenseman Jassen Cullimore and forward Tony Salmelainen were scratched. For Cullimore, it's the fourth straight game he has been out of the lineup.

rfoltman@tribune.com

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