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Sharp lifts Blackhawks past Canadiens in OT

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 9, 2014 at 10:36 pm •  Published: April 9, 2014
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CHICAGO (AP) — Patrick Sharp stepped up late to make sure the Chicago Blackhawks a win in their last regular-season home game.

Sharp set up Marian Hossa's tying goal in the final minute of regulation and then got the game-winner 43 seconds into overtime to lift the Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.

Jeremy Morin also scored in the Blackhawks' fourth straight win overall, and their first in overtime this season after seven losses despite leading in the NHL in goal scoring.

"I think we were due," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "We're a pretty good club offensively, but to take this long to get one. ... It's certainly a relief, and a huge two points for us and a nice comeback as well."

Defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago may need some of that late magic when the playoffs start next week.

"It's not the type of overtime you see in the playoffs," Quenneville said, "but going forward, it gets the monkey off our back."

Sharp scored the winner — and his team-leading 34th goal — on a shot from the slot that struck Montreal goalie Peter Budaj, rolled high off his equipment, ticked off the left post and landed in the net.

"It was at the end of a shift," Sharp said. "I let go of the shot. Makes up for the ones that hit the post."

Hossa had tipped in Sharp's feed from the right corner left to tie the game at 2 with 47.7 seconds left in the third period.

"Michel Handzus made a great pass to me and I just wanted to get it toward the net," Sharp said. "I saw Hoss' stick and he put it in."

The Blackhawks put on a strong, wild finish to win a cautiously played game between Original Six rivals with depleted lineups.

"I don't think we were especially happy with the way we played the first couple periods, but picked it up there towards the end," Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith said. "Their goalie made some big saves, too."

Corey Crawford finished with 28 saves for the Blackhawks.

Dale Weise and Francis Bouillon scored for Montreal, which snapped a two-game win streak and lost for just the third time in its last 13 games. Budaj had 25 saves.

The Canadiens were without starting goalie Carey Price and defensemen Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin, who didn't make the trip to Chicago so they could rest for the playoffs. Montreal will face Tampa Bay in the opening round, with home ice to be determines.

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