NEWARK, N.J. — A hat trick from Patrick Sharp helped the Blackhawks escape the Prudential Center with a 5-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils Friday night.
Sharp’s hat trick was the second one he has recorded in the last five games.
“I feel like, whether it’s our line or me individually, I can generate a lot of chances throughout the course of the games,” Sharp said following the win.
Chicago had a 4-1 lead after they scored three goals in the opening six minutes of the third period, but the Devils answered back with two goals of their own to give the Blackhawks a scare.
The Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead 1:34 into the third period, courtesy of a lucky bounce. Patrick Kane was looking to feed Brandon Saad in front of the Devils net, but instead had his pass bounce off the skate of Marek Zidlicky and past Martin Brodeur.
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The second Chicago goal came a little over a minute later, when Sharp scored his second goal of the night. The shot came from an almost parallel angel to the goal line. Marian Hossa ended a six game scoring drought at 5:34 of the third, giving the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead.
Zidlicky made up for the unfortunate bounce earlier in the period, by scoring less than two minutes after Hossa’s goal.
He found the back of the net again for the Devils at 13:37. Kane was sent to the penalty box for hooking and on the ensuing power play Zidlicky fired a blast from the point to cut it to 4-3 Blackhawks.
However, Antti Raanta held off the Devils the rest of the way, making 24 saves on the night, and Sharp scored with 1:28 left in the game to secure the win and complete the hat trick.
His last three-goal night came back on Dec. 27 against the Colorado Avalanche.
[WATCH: Raanta says Sharp must be a "super human" following hat trick]
Despite allowing the Devils to make a comeback, Jonathan Toews did not think his team “sat back” once they gathered the lead. Rather, he believed it was due to an inability to clear the puck in key situations.
“They knew they had to press hard,” Toews said. “A couple times we just didn’t clear the puck. It seems like the last couple of games there were a few instances where we don’t get the puck out at a pretty important time… Something we can definitely tighten up.”
The win was the eighth time this season that the Blackhawks have won the second game in a back-to-back situation.
“One thing about our team is in back-to-back games we’ve had a pretty good record,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after the win. “Everybody contributes, we got off to that quick start with a couple goals, but I don’t think we change too much how we play. I loved their energy coming out in that third period.”
Unlike Thursday night against the Islanders, the Blackhawks were first to jump on the scoreboard.
Sharp scored his first goal of the night 1:34 into the second period, but the Blackhawks lead would only last 43 seconds as Andy Green tied it at 2:17.
The Blackhawks return home on Sunday to host the San Jose Sharks at 7 p.m.