Sharp enjoying eight-game scoring streak

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Sharp enjoying eight-game scoring streak

Life is pretty nice for Patrick Sharp right now.

Off the ice, the Blackhawks left wing is enjoying the family life after becoming a first-time father last week. On the ice, things are pretty harmonious, too. A scoring streak will do that for you.

Sharp is riding a career-high, eight-game scoring streak, extended to that on Friday night when he had a goal and an assist in the Blackhawks 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. For Sharp, scoring is nothing new. He tallied 34 goals last season, two shy of his career-best 36 from 2007-08. But hes been as effective helping (five assists) as his has scoring goals (seven) on this latest streak, which is currently the longest in the NHL.

I dont know if its any one thing in particular, he said Saturday. I dont know if its a hot streak or luck, but I feel like Im working hard, were working hard as a line and the pucks going in.

That line of Sharp, Marian Hossa and Marcus Kruger has been effective. Hossa himself is on a four-game scoring streak (three goals, five assists).

Sharp was an offensive threat from the start last season. This October wasnt quite as productive, but it didnt help that he missed training camp after an emergency appendectomy. Still it was only a matter of time.

And staying put has also helped. Sharps been at wing all season, as the Blackhawks have used Patrick Kane and Kruger, instead, at that No. 2 center spot.

In October I re-learned position again, finding out opportunities to take off and what your responsibilities are. Its starting to come pretty natural, Sharp said. Our power plays clicking, too. All of that adds up to pretty good numbers.

Coach Joel Quenneville said, "Weve been relatively healthy and we havent done too much in the change department (at center). (Sharps) playing very well for us this year, and that lines been good together.

Every player goes through his streaks and slumps. Sharp just happens to be in the midst of his streak right now, and hell enjoy it as long as it lasts.

Ive said many times you dont know when next goals going to come, he said. So Ill keep working hard and hopefully it comes tomorrow.

Briefly

Daniel Carcillo (upper body) did not practice on Saturday and Quenneville said hes likely out tomorrow against the Calgary Flames. Quenneville added that Carcillo is feeling better.

Forward Ben Smith was sent back to the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday morning. Quenneville said they wanted him playing tonight, when the IceHogs host the Milwaukee Admirals.

Ray Emery will get his fifth consecutive start tomorrow night.

WATCH: Blackhawks play Blues in NHL 17 ahead of Winter Classic showdown

WATCH: Blackhawks play Blues in NHL 17 ahead of Winter Classic showdown

For the third time since the event was created, the Blackhawks will participate in the Winter Classic, facing the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 2, 2017.

To build some hype for the Central Division showdown, which will feature two teams that find themselves battling for the top seed in the Western Conference, Ryan Hartman and Trevor van Riemsdyk of the Blackhawks squared off with Joel Edmundson and Robby Fabbri of the Blues in EA Sports' NHL 17.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Edmunson and Fabbri jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but the finish would be determined in 3-on-3 overtime.

Check out who came out on top in the video below:

Blackhawks prep for Rangers without Brent Seabrook

Blackhawks prep for Rangers without Brent Seabrook

The Blackhawks broke out of their scoring slump against one of the league’s worst teams on Tuesday. Now they’ll face one of the best.

Scott Darling will start but Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook will be out when the Blackhawks face the New York Rangers on Friday night at the United Center. Coach Joel Quenneville was hoping at least Toews would skate on Friday but he didn’t. Toews and Seabrook could skate on Saturday but until they do, Quenneville is hesitant to say when they’ll return to game action.

Seabrook will be missing just his third regular-season game since 2012-13. Duncan Keith joked that Seabrook’s absence has meant a quieter locker room — “we’ve gotta talk a little more to get some noise going in here,” he said. But there’s no doubt the Blackhawks will miss Seabrook on the ice.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

“On top of everything he brings off the ice for us he’s been such a durable, important player for this team, this organization. When he’s not out there it’s a weird feeling,” Keith said. “We have to do as best we can to play good hockey and try to fill a huge void you can’t really replace.”Michal Kempny appears to be a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game. Quenneville was asked what Kempny needs to improve upon.

“I just think that consistency without the puck and how he defends in his own end is probably the area that there’s growth there in his game. But I still think our defense is pretty good and we’ve got some tough decisions on a game to game basis. He adds one more guy we feel can play,” Quenneville said. “But I think the depth, that’s a strength, and sometimes that’s part of the decision.”

The Rangers, who have 37 points this season, are coming off a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. While the Rangers got off to a hot start, winning 13 of their first 17 games, they’ve come down to earth lately (5-4-1 in their last 10). Like the Blackhawks, the Rangers have had their injury issues. Rick Nash (groin) and Jimmy Vesey (upper body) are the latest injuries. Vesey was listed as day-to-day; his status for tonight’s game is not yet known.

Broadcast information

Time: 7:30 p.m.

TV: CSN

Live Stream: CSNChicago.com/NBC Sports app

Blackhawks lines

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman-Marcus Kruger -Marian Hossa

Tyler Motte-Dennis Rasmussen-Richard Panik

Andrew Desjardins-Vinnie Hinostroza-Jordin Tootoo

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson

Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Gustav Forsling-Michal Rozsival

Goaltender

Scott Darling

Injuries 

Jonathan Toews (back), Brent Seabrook (upper body), Corey Crawford (appendix)

Rangers lines (via New York Daily News)

Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-J.T. Miller

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello

Marek Hrivik-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast

Nicklas Jensen-Josh Jooris-Brandon Pirri

Defensive pairs

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Kevin Klein

Goaltender

Antti Raanta

Injuries

Jimmy Vesey (upper body), Rick Nash (groin), Matt Puempel (concussion), Mika Zibanejad (broken fibula), Pavel Buchnevich (back)