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Sharp records second hat trick in five games to lead Blackhawks over Devils

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Recap

The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-3 on Friday night. The Blackhawks will return home to play the San Jose Sharks on Sunday evening.

There wasn’t much action in the first period as Antti Raanta and Martin Brodeur were solid in net. It was the second period that would see the Blackhawks get on the board when Patrick Sharp finished a play that he started when he fired a wrist shot above the glove shoulder of Brodeur at the 1:34 mark. But the Devils would tie the game up just 43 seconds late when Andy Greene converted on a pass from Stephen Gionta and put the puck between the legs of Raanta at 2:17.

The game would head into the third period tied and feature a flurry of scoring. The Blackhawks would take the lead when a Patrick Kane deflected off of Brandon Saad and Marek Zidlicky into the net at 1:30 of the third. Then it would be Patrick Sharp who took a cross zone pass from Brent Seabrook and fired a wrist shot from the goal line of the right faceoff circle and over the shoulder of Brodeur and into the far post at 2:44. But the Blackhawks weren’t done yet as Duncan Keith sprung Jonathan Toews who found Marian Hossa in between the faceoff circles where he fired a wrist shot over the glove shoulder of Brodeur at 5:34. However, the Devils weren’t done as Zidlicky scored at 7:09. The Devils would make the most of a power play as Zidlicky struck again on the power play at 13:37 on a beauty to cut the lead to one. But it was Keith who would fire a stretch pass to Sharp who was behind the defense. Sharp made a backhand to forehand move to elude the diving poke check of Brodeur and put the puck into an empty net at 18:32 to complete his hat trick.

What it means

The Blackhawks end their quick two game swing through New York by taking three of a possible four points. The Blackhawks remain in first place in the Central division with 66 points; however, the St. Louis Blues are only five points back and have four games in hand on the Blackhawks.

3 stars of the game

3. Marek Zidlicky- It was a good game for Zidlicky who scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season. It was a productive night for Zidlicky who led all skaters in ice time and shots on goal with 24:00 and 6 respectively.

2. Duncan Keith- With every game Keith seems to be solidifying his case for the Norris Trophy. Keith had 3 assists on the night to give him 39 for the season. In addition, Keith was a plus four for the night while leading Blackhawks skaters with 23:50 in ice time.

1. Patrick Sharp- For the second time in a week, Sharp scored a hat trick and has 7 goals in his past 5 games. On the year, Sharp now has 25 goals and leads the team. If he isn’t on team Canada, it will be a huge surprise given his recent surge in scoring.

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