- Jesse Rogers, Chicago Cubs beat reporter
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How it happened: The Hawks took a rare, early two-goal lead thanks to a Dave Bolland score 10 seconds into the contest followed by a Patrick Sharp goal 92 seconds later. Bolland got a pass from Andrew Shaw, who settled a feed onto his stick from Bryan Bickell off the opening draw. All three earned a point on the play. Then Sharp came out of the corner with the puck and fired one by Kari Lehtonen to stun the home team for his 27th goal of the season. Marian Hossa added one early in the third after he stole the puck and got it to Patrick Kane, who gave it back to Hossa for his 28th of the year. A minute later Sharp scored again after a turnover and feed from Viktor Stalberg. Corey Crawford was as solid as he was in relief on Tuesday night and came within 5:50 of getting the Hawks their first shutout of the season. Jamie Benn scored after Duncan Keith’s pass missed Jamal Mayers to break a 99:10 stretch of shutout hockey by Crawford.
What it means: The Hawks didn’t get the shutout, but the confidence boost for its defense and goaltender should still be big. Dallas buzzed around the Hawks net for a few stretches throughout the game but the chances weren’t very dangerous, and when they were, Crawford made the big save. Getting a lead -- let alone two goals -- must have felt like five or six considering how long it’s been since the Hawks played from start to finish ahead of its opponent. In short, it’s the way to win a playoff game. And to do it on the road without the Hawks captain is that much more impressive.
What’s next: The Hawks return home for a day of practice on Saturday followed by a Sunday contest against the Washington Capitals at 6 p.m.
Rapid Reaction: Two early goals gave the Hawks breathing room on Friday.