NHL Game Summary - Los Angeles at Chicago
(Sunday, March 22nd)
Final Score: Chicago 4, Los Angeles 1
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Patrick Sharp's return to the lineup appeared to be the remedy the stumbling Blackhawks needed to snap a five-game losing streak.
Sharp scored twice and recorded an assist to help Chicago defeat the Los Angeles Kings, 4-1, at United Center. The alternate captain had missed Chicago's last 16 games with a lower-body injury. He was hurt in a February 14 contest against Dallas after absorbing a check from renown pest Steve Ott. Before his stint on injured reserve, Sharp was the team leader with 23 goals.
"We haven't been playing that bad," Sharp said. "It's been a matter of a bounce or two, here or there. Everyone contributed tonight. For whatever reason, we've had a tough time keeping pucks out of our net. Today we played simple defense. We all did our jobs and didn't try to be too fancy."
Martin Havlat pumped in two goals and Duncan Keith collected three assists for the Blackhawks, who are fourth in the Western Conference with 87 points. Nikolai Khabibulin had to make just 14 saves to notch his 18th win of the season.
Jonathan Quick stopped 28 shots for Los Angeles, which has dropped five of its last six games.
"Chicago played good defensive hockey and limited our chances," Quick said. "It was a tough game."
Drew Doughty scored on the power play to put the Kings on the board and cut the deficit to 2-1 with 3:06 remaining in the third period. The rookie defenseman came in from the right point and fired a shot that slipped between the pads of Khabibulin.
However, Sharp and Havlat helped cement the win with a pair of empty-net tallies in the final moments.
The home team led 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes courtesy of a power-play goal by Sharp. Sharp pushed the puck up the ice on an odd-man rush, with Patrick Kane flanking him on the right side. Using the talented sophomore as a decoy, Sharp drifted into the left faceoff circle and picked the far corner over the glove of Quick at 9:46 of the first period.
Havlat gave Chicago a two-goal edge early in the second period on a nifty give-and-go. Havlat dished to Sharp and immediately drove to the front of the net, where he tapped in the return feed at 4:21.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, had trouble generating much of an offensive threat, registering a meager 10 shots through two frames.
Chicago and Los Angeles split the season series, with the home team winning all four matchups...The Blackhawks are 19-8-7 as the host this season...The Kings are 14-18-2 on the road.
03/22 18:06:32 ET