Blackhawks defeat Stars 5-4 in OT
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks seemed a step behind the streaking Dallas Stars much of Sunday night before finding a way to come out ahead.
Patrick Sharp scored 1:17 into overtime to give Chicago a 5-4 win that snapped the Stars’ four-game winning streak.
"Probably not our best team game in a while," Sharp said, "but to come back and win against a division rival, it definitely feels good."
Sharp drove past Jason Spezza down the slot, took Duncan Keith’s feed from the left point and beat Kari Lehtonen with a shot that slipped between the goalie’s body and his blocker.
That was the only time the Blackhawks led in the contest as Chicago overcame four-one goal deficits and some uncharacteristic defensive breakdowns.
"We can point the finger at ourselves for allowing those deficits in the first place," Sharp said. "A couple mistakes by us."
Following a 3-2 defeat in Washington to the Capitals in the Winter Classic on Thursday, the Blackhawks appeared on their way to losing a second straight game for only the third time this season.
But Chicago’s Brad Richards fooled Lehtonen with an improbable sharp-angle shot with 3:57 left in the third period to tie it at 4 and set up overtime. Richards whipped the puck from the goal line at the left boards and it slipped between Lehtonen’s elbow and the goalpost.
"I was hoping for a rebound or something crazy to happen," Richards said. "And that went in."
The Blackhawks, 14-3-1 in their last 18, ultimately got the bounces they needed, even if they weren’t firing on all cylinders.
"We just didn’t quite have a great feeling," Richards said. "Something was just a little off. We stayed with it. You always know you’re going to get a big play out of someone on this team."
Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell also scored for the Blackhawks.
Erik Cole had two goals and an assist for the Stars. Jamie Benn and his brother, Jordie, also scored for Dallas.
"I thought we deserved better, and 5-on-5 I thought we had the edge in the game," Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. "I thought the last 40 minutes, our pace was better than theirs.
"Against their speed, I thought we did a good job."
Even with the loss, the Stars are 8-1-1 in their last 10.
"We’re playing pretty solid right now," said Dallas’ Alex Goligoski, who had two assists. "Just have to find better ways to lock those down."
Lehtonen made 33 saves, while Chicago’s Corey Crawford blocked 30 shots.
Blackhawks top prospect, forward Teuvo Teravainen, played his first game of the season.
The 20-year-old was recalled from Rockford of the AHL after forward Kris Versteeg suffered a left hand injury when he was hit by a shot in Thursday’s Winter Classic in Washington. Versteeg is expected to be out for "about a month," according to coach Joel Quenneville.
Jamie Benn opened the scoring 3:59 in when he buried a rebound from the edge of left circle into an open net. Crawford had to react quickly to make a pad save on Tyler Seguin’s initial deflected shot from 20 feet out in slot, and wasn’t able to recover.
Saad muscled to the net, fought off Stars defenseman Trevor Daly and directed in Jonathan Toews’ centering pass 1:15 later to tie it at 1.
Defensive breakdowns lead to a scoring flurry early in the second.
Jordie Benn, a defenseman, trailed into the slot and scored his first goal of the season 2:15 into the period to complete a slick three-way passing play with Cole and Ales Hemsky to put Dallas ahead 2-1. No Blackhawks forwards backchecked on the Stars’ rush.
Kane tied it at 2 at 3:58 to finish a 2-on-1 with Sharp, who created the odd-man break when he blew around Jordie Benn at the Dallas blue line.
Cole restored the Stars’ lead at 3-2 just 45 seconds later when he was left wide open at the side of the net and lifted in a high shot.
Bickell’s power-play tip-in with 1:55 left in the second tied it 3-all. Cole’s second goal of the game, on a mid-air deflection of Goligoski’s floating feed from the left point 4:05 into the third period, put Dallas back ahead, 4-3.
NOTES: Versteeg has nine goals and 18 assists in 34 games after fully recovering from knee surgery in March 2013. He missed the first four games of this season with an unrelated lower-body injury. . Dallas C Shawn Horcoff missed his third game with an illness and is on IR. He eligible to return starting Tuesday. . Stars D David Schlemko, claimed from Arizona on waivers, on Saturday, was with the team, but did not dress.