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Thursday, December 8, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Hawks 3, Isles 2 (OT)

By Jesse Rogers

A quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 3-2 overtime win over the New York Islanders on Long Island on Thursday.

How it Happened: Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp connected in overtime, just as they did in regulation and Ray Emery earned his 99th career win. Hossa scored his 400th career goal. The Hawks got an early lead thanks to Hossa, who scored on the power play from behind the Islanders net. Later, he assisted on a beauty of a one-timer by Sharp, but the Islanders closed the gap with a good finish to the second period when Travis Hamonic got a puck past Emery to make it 2-1. Then New York went on a 5-on-3 power play spanning the end of the second period and the beginning of the third, but the lowly ranked Hawks penalty killing units prevailed. The Islanders tied the game when Steve Staios scored from the point late in the third period, forcing overtime. That’s when Hossa grabbed a puck and exploded into the offensive zone before sending one on net which Sharp rebounded for the winner. The two combined for six points but it was Emery who set the tone with a solid first period and continued with some big saves during the two-man disadvantage and throughout the rest of the game.

What it Means: For starters, it probably means another night in net for Emery. He was one reason the Hawks led after the first period for just the 11th time this season in 29 games. He moved well, didn’t give up many rebounds and made the big saves the Hawks have been needing and looking for. Hossa and Sharp were clicking on offense early and late but the Hawks didn’t gain much momentum from killing off the 5-on-3 power play by the Islanders. Instead of pushing the pace they laid back, eventually giving up the tying goal, but the play by Hossa and Sharp in overtime made up for an average third period. Hossa, Sharp and Emery were fantastic, improving the Hawks record to 17-8-4. They’ve won four in a row on the road.

Hossa’s 400: Hossa became the 85th player in NHL history to score 400 goals. He had a goal and an assist and has 855 points in his career.

What’s Next: The Hawks return home with a couple days between games before hosting the San Jose Sharks on Sunday at the United Center.