With the NHL Christmas break approaching, the Chicago Blackhawks needed to come away with a statement game against the New Jersey Devils.
The Hawks did not disappoint.
The Patricks were in usual form on Monday night as both forwards Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane both scored and for Kane, extended his point streak to 12 games.
Sharp opened the scoring for the Hawks with a wrist shot as he skated down from the blue to put it pass Devils’ goaltender Corey Schneider. Sharp’s shot was redirected off Devils’ defenseman Mark Fayne to put the Hawks up 1-0 heading into the locker room after the first period.
But, the Devils came back in the second period and about five minutes into the period, Devils’ forward Stephen Gionta deflected a shot pass Blackhawks’ goaltender Antti Raanta to tie the game at one.
But the Hawks would quickly answer.
Kane answered for the Hawks about two minutes later when he rebounded a shot from defenseman Nick Leddy and slid the puck pass Schneider to put the Hawks up 2-1. The Hawks would continue to pile on the Devils when Brian Bickell made his presence known as he ripped a shot from a side angle pass Schneider with Hawks’ forward Andrew Shaw in front of the net to put the Hawks ahead 3-1.
Although the Devils came back to cut the lead to 3-2, the Hawks had a clear advantage throughout the game and had the time of possession and shots in their favor. The Hawks would then respond with two unanswered goals to put the Devils away.
Sharp scored his second goal of the evening on a breakaway to put the Hawks up 4-2 and then with seven minutes left to play, Leddy sealed the victory for Hawks to put them in front 5-2.
Raanta improved to 8-1-2 while Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford has been injured and has looked good for a rookie. The Hawks now sit in first place in the Central Division and second in the Western Conference with 58 points.
The Hawks looked as if they played of their better all around games this season on Monday night, in a game in which the Hawks needed after falling to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night in a shootout.
The Blackhawks go on the league wide three-day Christmas break and don’t return to action until Friday night when they take on the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center in Chicago. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen on ALT and CSN-Chicago.
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