Blackhawks
Kings
6 - 5 Final - OT
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Sharp rescues Blackhawks in overtime

Feb 24, 2008 - 1:27 AM
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Patrick Sharp saved the Chicago Blackhawks from an embarrassing collapse.

Sharp scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner at 1:48 of overtime, to lift the Blackhawks to a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday at the Staples Center.

The decisive goal came off a rebound of defenseman Brent Seabrook's wrist shot that rookie goaltender Erik Ersberg was unable to control.

Swooping in from the right wing, Sharp buried the puck for his 29th goal to give Chicago its fifth victory in the last six games.

"Craziest game I've played in a while," Sharp said. "Credit Seabrook for making my job easy on the game-winner. The puck's been bouncing right for me all season, and that one just came to me in the right position to score.

"It's pretty impressive, I guess. It was great by them to come back. We collapsed a little, but nonetheless, we got our two points."

Ersberg, a Swede who was appearing in his first NHL game, had stopped all 17 shots he faced in relief of starter Dan Cloutier until Sharp's winning goal.

The Blackhawks seemingly had turned the game into a rout by scoring four goals on six shots in a span of 4:06 in the second period for a 5-1 lead.

Martin Havlat and defenseman Andrei Zyuzin scored 15 seconds apart to start the blitz, and rookie Jonathan Toews and Jason Williams added tallies to chase Cloutier from the game with 11:43 to play in the session.

"We had a great second period, a really good consistent bunch of shifts, but you can't play that way in the third period," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "I told our team as overtime started, 'You can't quit playing hard in the NHL, regardless of the score.' The Kings are really good at scoring goals, and when you let up, that's what happens."

Los Angeles came storming back in the third, scoring four goals in the final 10:54 - including tallies by Patrick O'Sullivan with 1:07 left and the equalizer by All-Star Anze Kopitar with just 13 seconds remaining.

"This is as good an overtime loss as you're ever going to see," Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "It's a compliment that we were able to respond and rebound like that. It's a real character builder for our team."

Kopitar had a goal and two assists in the third period for the Kings, who had mauled the Blackhawks, 9-2, in their previous matchup on New Year's Day.

"This team showed a lot of character," Kopitar said. "You have to show that you're not quitting and then the goals start coming, everyone gets excited and I think we deserved that point."

Los Angeles took a short-lived 1-0 lead when rookie defenseman Peter Harrold scored his first career goal at 5:23 of the first. But Sharp evened the contest with his 28th of the season on the power play just over four minutes later, starting a streak of five unanswered tallies for Chicago.

Michael Cammalleri and blue-liner Tom Preissing also scored for the Kings, who launched 38 shots - including 19 in the third period - on netminder Patrick Lalime.

"Give them credit, they kept playing hard at 5-1 and never gave up," Lalime said. "They put a lot of pressure on us down low late in the third period, and it paid off for them. I was happy to see Sharp's goal go in because we needed the points."