RALEIGH, N.C. — Patrick Sharp broke free from the Carolina Hurricanes and buried the goal, the first time he’s done that this season, the 200th time he’s done it in his career and the second time he’s done it after the birth of one of his daughters.
“We talked about that in the first period: Too bad he didn’t have triplets,” Marian Hossa said with a laugh.
All joking aside, the Chicago Blackhawks left wing is making this welcome-a-daughter-by-scoring-a-goal thing a habit. And once again, he would score the game-winner to celebrate the newest Sharp bundle of joy.
Sharp scored in regulation, then added the shootout winner as the Blackhawks beat the Hurricanes, 3-2, Tuesday night at PNC Arena. Two days after first daughter Madelyn Grace was born, Sharp had the overtime winner against San Jose in December 2011. And two days after Sharp and wife Abby welcomed Sadie Ellen, Sharp had the winner again.
Not a bad habit.
“It’s pretty special to have two daughters and the game-winner both games right after,” said Sharp, who beat Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward on the glove side in the shootout. “That’s personal stuff. But the team got the win, and we’re moving forward.”
The Blackhawks got those two road points, but once again it was interesting. They staked themselves to a 2-0 lead after the first period, when Sharp scored on that breakaway and Marian Hossa scored on a backhand a few seconds after a power play ended. The Blackhawks out-shot the Hurricanes, 15-5, in that first, dominating them in just about every facet.
But the Blackhawks struggled again to get that elusive third goal, and the Hurricanes weren’t finished. They took over in the second period and got rewarded in the third. Alexander Semin scored on an Eric Staal rebound about four minutes into the third, then Ron Hainsey tied it with less than eight minutes remaining in the period.
Coach Joel Quenneville talked prior to this game on how that last-second loss to St. Louis, the game in which the Blackhawks came up empty instead of forcing the game to overtime, was still with him. As nail-biting as Tuesday’s game was, Quenneville wasn’t as concerned.
“We’ll take win on the road any day of the week,” he said. “They’re going to get their chances. We were hanging on at the end, got the big kill in overtime as well. We’re having trouble around the net getting that third one, that quantity of offense from the past. But we feel it’s there, so let’s get it out.”
The Blackhawks got the lone shot past a goaltender in the shootout from a methodical Sharp, who wristed one past Ward. Sharp said he talked to Patrick Kane about improving his shootout moves.
“I haven’t been good in them the last few years, so I looked at that over the summer, thought of possible moves and talked to Kaner,” he said. “(That move was) definitely by design. I don’t have hands like Kaner, so the slower I go the better mine get.”
The Blackhawks eked out another one. For them, it’s two big points on the road. For Sharp, it’s another memorable end to a game after a welcoming another daughter into the world. And the newest member of the family has gifts en route.
“(The 200th goal puck) I’ll give to my parents in Thunder Bay, (Ont.). The shootout puck and stick are for my daughter,” Sharp said. “We’ll start spoiling her early.”