Inquirer Daily News

Sharp, Blackhawks top Devils

Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Patrick Sharp scored twice and Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 12 games as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the New Jersey Devils, 5-2, on Monday at United Center.

Kane and Bryan Bickell each lit the lamp once, while Nick Leddy added a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who have picked up at least one point in eight of their last nine games (6-1-2).

Antti Raanta needed just 10 saves to record the victory.

Stephen Gionta and Michael Ryder tallied a goal apiece, while Cory Schneider allowed all five goals on 37 shots for the Devils, who had a four-game point streak (3-0-1) halted.

"That's a great team," New Jersey head coach Peter DeBoer said of Chicago. "They can make you look bad if you're not on your game, and we weren't on our game."

Ryder snuck a backhander past Raanta from between the circles just 59 seconds into the third period to bring the Devils within 3-2, but Sharp scored his second of the night just under five minutes later to restore Chicago's two- goal cushion.

On the play, Brent Seabrook blocked a shot in front of the Chicago net and quickly touched the puck ahead to Marian Hossa, who swept the disc ahead to Sharp skating behind the defense.

With only Schneider to beat, Sharp wristed a shot from between the circles that sailed past the New Jersey netminder's glove to make it 4-2 at 5:54.

Leddy added an insurance tally with Chicago on the power play at 12:59, as he rifled a heavy slapper from just inside the left circle that slipped through Schneider.

"Everybody's happy," Hossa said of the team's morale heading into the holiday break. "The coaches will have a beautiful Christmas and the same with the players."

Early on, Sharp's first of the game gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead 12:59 into the contest, but Gionta redirected a shot past Raanta at 5:37 of the middle stanza to bring the Devils even.

Kane pounded home a rebound 2:20 later to put Chicago back on top before Bickell beat Schneider with a wicked wrister from the right faceoff dot at 12:27 of the second to make it 3-1 in favor of the Blackhawks.

Game Notes

Kane has registered at least one point in 24 of his last 25 games ... The Devils dropped to 12-2-2 with a tie in their last 17 games against Chicago ... Hossa, Seabrook and Brandon Saad each finished with two assists for the Blackhawks ... New Jersey finished 0-for-1 on the power play.

12/23 23:34:55 ET