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Sharp nets another hat trick as Blackhawks tame Devils
Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Patrick Sharp posted his fourth career hat trick and second in Chicago's last five games, as the Blackhawks used a four- goal third period to take a 5-3 triumph over the New Jersey Devils on Friday at Prudential Center.
Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa each scored once, Duncan Keith collected three assists, and Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews tallied two helpers apiece for the Blackhawks, who have won four of their last six games.
"Definitely the biggest factor tonight was our top guys were great," Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville remarked.
Antti Raanta, fresh off being named the NHL's co-rookie of the month for December, turned aside 24 shots to backstop the victory.
Marek Zidlicky lit the lamp twice in the third, while Andy Greene registered the other goal for New Jersey, which was coming off consecutive 2-1 wins.
Martin Brodeur allowed all five goals on 24 shots in the setback.
With the game tied 1-1 after 40 minutes, Chicago scored three times in the first 5:34 of the third period to create some separation.
Saad started the rally 90 seconds in when Patrick Kane threw the puck on net from a sharp angle near the right corner and the disc deflected off Saad's skate as he crashed the front of the net to make it 2-1 Chicago.
After Sharp found the back of the net from a sharp angle on the low left side just 1:14 later to double the Blackhawks' lead, Hossa beat Brodeur glove-side with a wrister from the inner half of the left circle for a 4-1 lead at 5:34.
Zidlicky answered with consecutive goals to get the Devils back within one, scoring his sixth of the season at 7:09 before potting a power-play marker at 13:37 to make it a 4-3 game.
However, Sharp capped his hat trick at 18:32 when he avoided a Brodeur poke- check and stuffed the puck into the empty net to account for the final margin.
"I feel like things kind of opened up in the third period there," Sharp said. "We were skating better and it resulted in a few goals."
Following a scoreless first frame, Sharp got the Blackhawks on the board 1:34 into the second when he forced a turnover in the New Jersey zone and made his way into the high slot before accepting a feed from Toews and ripping a wrister over Brodeur's glove for a 1-0 lead.
New Jersey responded just 43 ticks later when Greene snuck a shot through Raanta's five hole from the low left side off a slick saucer pass from Brian Gionta.
"[Chicago's] a good team," New Jersey head coach Peter DeBoer admitted. "I thought we played a real good game for long stretches tonight to give ourselves a chance."
Sharp scored three times during a 7-2 win over Colorado on Dec. 27 ... New Jersey forward Mike Sislo made his NHL debut and served a bench minor for too many men in the first period ... Chicago improved to 14-5-3 on the road, while New Jersey dropped to 8-6-5 at home this season ... Brodeur entered Friday's tilt with a 9-3-2 mark with four ties and a stingy 1.96 goals against average in 20 career games against Chicago ... Prior to the game, New Jersey activated forward Ryan Carter from injured reserve, placed defenseman Anton Volchenkov on IR, placed forward Mattias Tedenby on waivers and recalled Sislo from Albany of the American Hockey League ... Carter hadn't played since Nov. 30 due to a leg injury.
01/03 22:53:58 ET