Patrick Sharp's shoot-out goal gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings and undisputed first place in the NHL on Sunday. Sharp, who also scored a regulation goal, pushed the puck past the Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard in the fourth round of the shoot-out to earn the Blackhawks their 72nd point of the season.
"Every time I shoot it seems to have implications in the game," Sharp said. "I definitely wanted to score. It's been a while since I got one in the shoot-out and hopefully I can get a few more." Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa also had shoot-out goals for Chicago as did Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi for Detroit. Hossa, a former Red Wings player who was booed every time he touched the puck, had seven shots on goal, including a breakaway during regulation and overtime.
Sharp got his chance for the game-winner when the Blackhawks' netminder, Antti Niemi, saved a shot by Dan Cleary to open the fourth round. "This is a good start on our [eight-game] road trip," Niemi said. "It's great to get points in the first games so you don't get stuck with zero points." The Blackhawks started the trip with a 6-5 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. Patrick Eaves's wrist shot midway the third period sent the game into extra time.
Chicago led 2-0 in the first on goals by Troy Brouwer and Patrick Kane before Detroit levelled in the second through Nicklas Lidstrom and a Henrik Zetterberg powerplay score. Sharp put Chicago back on top 3-2 at 11:10 into the second before Eaves forced the tie off an assist by Lidstrom. Elsewhere in the NHL, the Washington Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 as Brooks Laich scored twice, including a short-handed goal in the third period, and Alex Ovechkin finally made a penalty shot on the sixth try of his career.
Ryan Callahan had two goals and two assists and Brandon Dubinsky added two goals to lead New York Rangers to a 6-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Marian Gaborik had a goal and two assists, and Chris Drury also scored to help the Rangers - who had only five goals overall in their previous five games - end a three-game losing streak. Michael Cammalleri and Brian Gionta scored for the Canadiens.
Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan scored third-period goals as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Calgary Flames 5-4. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org