Sharp nets hat trick, Blackhawks beat Devils 5-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 3, 2014 at 10:01 pm •  Published: January 3, 2014
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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Patrick Sharp is on one of those streaks. It seems almost every time he shoots, the puck ends up in the net.

Sharp had his second hat trick in five games and the Chicago Blackhawks avoided a rare second straight loss with a 5-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

The 32-year-old Sharp has 14 goals and seven assists in his last 13 games. He has 25 goals in 44 games this season, tied for the team lead with Patrick Kane.

"I don't know numbers-wise," Sharp said when asked if he has ever had a run like this. "I think I've felt like this a few times in my career. It's the result of the good players I'm out there with making good plays, and all the hard work you put in as an individual. It's a good run for our team, it's a good run for me, and hopefully we can keep it going."

Sharp helped Chicago build a 4-1 lead, combining with Kane and Marian Hossa to score in a span of 4:04 early in the third period to give the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead. When the Devils narrowed the margin to a goal with 6:23 to play, Sharp iced the game, breaking in on Martin Brodeur with 1:28 to play and easily beating the NHL's winningest goaltender for his fourth career hat trick.

"It's fun to play against a guy like Marty Brodeur, arguably the best goaltender of all-time," said Sharp, who only had six goals in last year's lockout-shortened season that ended with Chicago winning the Stanley Cup. "You see guys like that on the ice, Jaromir Jagr as well, it's crazy to line up against those guys."

Duncan Keith had three assists and fellow defenseman Brent Seabrook two in the four-goal third period against Brodeur, who faced 24 shots.

"They have three lines that can get you and their fourth line doesn't hurt them ever, either," Brodeur said. "We played them well, we were right there, and then they kind of took over. They're a good team and they showed it. That's what good teams do."

Marek Zidlicky scored twice and fellow defenseman Andy Greene once for New Jersey, which lost in regulation for only the second time in nine games (5-2-2). Both defeats have come against the Blackhawks, who lost in overtime to the Islanders on Thursday.

"We played well for the first 40, then we hit the pause button," Devils forward Ryan Carter said. "Against a team like that, you cannot do that. They can score at any time, and they pretty much did."

Antti Raanta made 24 saves for Chicago, which is 11-1-3 against Eastern Conference opponents.

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