Friday, Jan. 7, 2011
Posted 10:08 PM Updated 11:22 PM
By Tracey Myers
The Chicago Blackhawks didnt play their prettiest game against the Ottawa Senators on Friday night. But for a team thats looking to get points any way they can, it was effective.
Patrick Sharp scored his 24th goal of the season and Patrick Kane scored for the first time in his last eight games as the Blackhawks took a 3-2 shootout victory over the Senators at the United Center.
The Blackhawks had another slow start and held a slim 2-1 lead in the third before Milan Michalek tied it with 1:25 remaining in regulation.
But the Blackhawks, who have lost a lot of points late, forced it to the shootout, where Jonathan Toews got the winner.
We were looking pretty good at 2-1 and it was tough to give up (the Michalek) goal there, Kane said. But we kept our composure. All of us knew this was a game we had to have.
It was also a welcome night for Kane, who had been trying to get his scoring touch back since returning from his left-ankle injury. Kane caused Erik Karlssons turnover, then beat Ottawa netminder Brian Elliott 5-hole to put the Blackhawks up 2-1.
I thought he made a great play there and got better as the game progressed, coach Joel Quenneville said. It was nice to see the timeliness of the goal.
Defenseman Brent Seabrook said Kane has been scratching at the door the last couple of games here. Hes been getting some points, but its nice to see him put one in and get that excitement back.
WATCH: Patrick Kane excited, optimistic
But it was Sharp with the resuscitating goal in the second period, a deflection of Brian Campbells blue-line shot that woke up the Blackhawks and the fans.
Sharp is just one goal shy of his total all of last season (25).
The timeliness of that goal was huge for us, Quenneville said. We didnt have a lot going offensively until that went in. Whether its power play or timeliness, game in-game out hes been the one staple for us all year.
The Blackhawks got just enough on Friday night.
No, it wasnt the most stylish game and the Blackhawks definitely would like a better start. But the two points they got are nevertheless vital in a tight Western Conference race.
Weve had a lot of games where we havent gotten two points out of the third and it was disappointing to give up the tying goal, Sharp said. There are definitely areas we can be better at, but were all going home with the win.
Nick Leddy, who was recalled from Rockford Friday morning, logged 15:41 of ice time against Ottawa. Quenneville was happy with the rookie and partner Jordan Hendry.
I thought he did a good job; that was a nice pair for us, Quenneville said. They skated well together, skated out of trouble. They had good zone presence in the offensive end, very nice and patient with the puck.
Toews shootout winner was the sixth of his career. He has now converted 17 of 30 (57 percent) shootout shots in his career.
Ryan Johnson, Nick Boynton and John Scott were the Blackhawks healthy scratches on Friday night.
The Blackhawks were credited with 44 hits to the Senators 37.
The Blackhawks will have a Heritage Night for the 1961 Stanley Cup championship team on Sunday night when they face the New York Islanders.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.