Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Hawks reverse losing ways in Raleigh
By Mike Potter Special to ESPNChicago.com
RALEIGH, N.C -- The Chicago Blackhawks had all sorts of numbers working against them when they hit the ice Tuesday night at PNC Arena.
They were 0-6-1 in this oft-renamed building that opened in 1999.
Carolina goalie Cam Ward was 3-0-1 against them, with a pair of shutouts. And the Hurricanes -- who won their Stanley Cup in 2006 -- were 7-1-1 in their last nine meetings with defending Cup champions.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp guides home the shootout winner Tuesday against the Hurricanes.
But the Blackhawks ignored the history, playing their fifth one-goal game and improving to 3-1-1 in that stretch, with the 3-2 shootout win.
Chicago took a 2-0 lead in the first period and then saw it disappear before Patrick Sharp won it with the final try of the shootout.
“I’ll take a win on the road any day of the week,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We had a great first period and then they had their turn. We hung on in the end and had a big kill in the overtime, as well.
“Sharp and [Marian] Hossa got us out there tonight, and we were looking for that third goal to make things a little more comfortable. But we found a way to stay in the game. We didn’t change anything in the third. When the other team is pressing and gambling and taking chances and coming after us, we can exploit it offensively and we have to find a way to do that.”
Sharp said he hasn’t been happy with his own shootout performance of late, but two days after the birth of his second daughter he found a way to get his first goal of the season and then the overtime winner.
“I haven’t been very good the last couple of years,” Sharp said. “I kind of looked at that over the summer and thought of possible moves, talked with Kaner [Patrick Kane] a little bit. It was definitely by design. I don’t have hands like Kaner, so the slower mine go the better I am.
“One-goal games are important games. You see them all season, especially in the playoffs, and good teams find a way to come out with two points and big wins.”
Healthy Hawks: The Blackhawks have not had anyone out with an injury in their first six games, and they came through Tuesday’s game cleanly, as well. Defenseman Mike Kostka was a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game, while defenseman Sheldon Brookbank and center Brandon Pirri also sat out. Carolina was missing defenseman Tim Gleason with a concussion, while backup goalie Anton Khudobin was on injured reserve (lower body).