Home Pittsburgh Sports College Basketball Kane’s SO goal lifts Blackhawks past Penguins

Kane’s SO goal lifts Blackhawks past Penguins

Brett Sterling fired in a rebound from the edge of the crease with 3:18 left in the third period to force overtime and salvage a point for the Penguins, who ultimately lost 3-2 to the Blackhawks in Chicago.

Chicago 3 – Pittsburgh 2 (SO)
Patrick Kane undressed Marc-Andre Fleury in the final round of the shootout, and all three Penguins shooters failed to score in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 loss to the Blackhawks Sunday Afternoon in Chicago. The Penguins have now won only twice in their past seven games. Despite the disappointing outcome for the Pens, the game ended up being a spectacular show for the NHL and Hockey Day Across America.

Matt Cooke and Brett Sterling helped the Penguins battle back from two one-goal deficits to force overtime and a shootout, but it was not enough against a desperate Chicago team that now sits in 11th place in the log-jammed Western Conference. Aside from allowing a soft goal from Bryan Bickell in the third period, Marc-Andre Fleury was outstanding. He made 29 saves and gave his team a chance to capture two points and gain ground on Philadelphia, who defeated the New York Rangers earlier in the day.

The Penguins suffered another injury scare when Kris Letang’s shot on the power play during overtime struck Jordan Staal’s left cheek. The Pittsburgh center does not wear a visor. In his post-game comments, Penguins’ Head Coach Dan Bylsma indicated that Staal was doing fine.

Fleury almost single-handedly kept the Penguins in the game to start as they looked disjointed and frazzled against an upbeat Chicago team that dictated the pace of the game and peppered Fleury with 13 shots in the first period.

A bad change for Pittsburgh gave the Hawks a brief man-advantage that resulted in their first goal. Jonathan Toews connected with Patrick Sharp to put the home team up by one. Sharp, Chicago’s leading scorer, recorded his 31st goal of the season on the play.

Matt Cooke, fresh off of a four-game suspension, evened the score with his 11th goal of the season 13:52 into the second period. On the penalty kill, Pens defenseman Brooks Orpik deflected Kane’s pass that was intended for Sharp in front of the net up to Max Talbot, who sped off on a 2-on-1 with Cooke. The controversial Penguins winger easily buried his chance off of the odd-man break.

Bryan Bickell gave Chicago the lead again 1:09 into the third period when Fleury, who was apparently screened by Zbnek Michalek, failed to stop Bickell’s shot that floated in from the left point.

AHL call-up and natural goal-scorer Brett Sterling found the back of the net with 3:18 left in regulation to knot the game at two and force a five-minute overtime period. The Pens had their best chance to seal a comeback with 53 seconds of a 4-on-3 power play in overtime, but could not finish off the Hawks before the shootout.

Pascal Dupuis, Kris Letang and Tyler Kennedy failed to score for the Penguins in the shootout, while Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp also fumbled their attempts for Chicago. That gave way for Kane, his skillful deke and Chicago’s dramatic win.

The Penguins return to Pittsburgh Monday to face the Washington Capitals (31-19-10).

THREE STARS
1. CHI – Patrick Sharp; 2. PIT – Brett Sterling; 3. CHI – Bryan Bickell

SCORE SHEET
Goals:
PIT- Matt Cooke (11), Brett Sterling (3); CHI- Patrick Sharp (31), Bryan Bickell (14), Patrick Kane (SO)
Assists: PIT- Max Talbot, Brooks Orpik, Jordan Staal, Tyler Kennedy; CHI- Jonathan Toews, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Dave Bolland, Duncan Keith
Special Teams: PIT: 0-4; CHI: 0-3

IN THE NET
PIT:
Marc-Andre Fleury (OT) 29-31
CHI: Corey Crawford (W) 24-26

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