Sharp, Blackhawks beat Carolina in shootout
RALEIGH, N.C. – Patrick Sharp scored in the shootout and the Blackhawks claimed the 2,500th victory in club history by beating the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2, Tuesday night.
Sharp and Marian Hossa also scored 2:22 apart in the first period for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who blew a 2-0 lead in the third before winning in the tiebreaker.
Corey Crawford finished with 32 saves, then stopped three Carolina shooters in the shootout.
After Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews came up empty, Sharp beat Cam Ward with a nifty forehand in the third round.
Crawford then stuffed Jeff Skinner to end it, making the Blackhawks the last of the Original Six to reach the 2,500-win mark.
Alexander Semin and Ron Hainsey scored during Carolina’s third-period rally.
Ward stopped 34 shots for Carolina, which wrapped up a winless three-game homestand against Western Conference teams but managed to earn two points during that stretch.
The Hawks appeared well on their way to an easy victory when they took a two-goal lead into the third.
Semin started Carolina’s comeback with 16:06 left when he whipped in a rebound of Eric Staal’s shot. Hainsey then tied it with 7:27 left when his blast from the blue line went through traffic – and between defenseman Michal Roszival’s legs – on its way past Crawford.
But that was the last puck to get past the Hawks goalie.
The Hawks, who entered having scored more than two goals only once since the opener, scored twice in the opening minutes.
Sharp – the MVP of the All-Star game when it was played here in 2011 – struck first with 12:04 left. He beat defenseman Brett Bellemore to the puck to create a breakaway chance, then beat Ward to his weak spot – high to his glove side – for his first goal.
Hossa made it 2-0 with 9:42 left, 3 seconds after a holding penalty to Staal expired. The Hurricanes whiffed on a clearing attempt and Hossa backhanded the puck past Ward’s stick from between the circles.
The Hawks’ lead could have been even bigger had Ward not stopped a pair of Hawks from point-blank range just before time expired in the second.
Notes: Three of Carolina’s five home games have been tied at the end of regulation. ... The Hurricanes are 0-2 in shootouts while the Hawks improved to 1-1. ... Sharp’s goal was the 200th of his career.
Hainsey’s goal was his first since March 12, 2011, when he was with Atlanta. ... Carolina fell to 7-2-1 against defending Cup champions since the start of the 2009-10 season. ... The teams met for the first time since Oct. 28, 2011.