Sharp's two goals lead Blackhawks
SAN JOSE, CALIF. – Patrick Sharp scored his first two goals since January and Duncan Keith also got his first in more than a month to help the Chicago Blackhawks beat the San Jose Sharks 6-2 on Saturday.
"It seemed like I was hitting a post every game and not having anything to show for it," Sharp said. "It was nice to shoot one there and have it deflect off one of their guys into the net."
Sharp and Keith ended their slumps one game after Brad Richards and Andrew Shaw got their first goals since January in a 2-1 win at Arizona. Chicago, playing without star forward Patrick Kane, has won six of eight games to move within striking distance of Nashville and St. Louis for the Central Division lead.
The Blackhawks were three points behind the division leaders heading into Saturday night's games.
Melker Karlsson and Joe Thornton scored for the Sharks, who began the day three points behind Los Angeles for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Antti Niemi made 24 saves.
"We played good for 40 odd minutes and that's just not good enough," Thornton said.
•CROSBY SITS, MALKIN HURT: Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots and the Bruins won their fifth game in a row, 2-0 in Pittsburgh over a Penguins team missing Sidney Crosby and minus Evgeni Malkin for most of the game. Crosby, the Penguins' leading scorer, was a surprise late scratch after he participated in the pregame warm-up. "I would say it's not an injury," Penguins coach Mike Johnston said. "He didn't get himself injured in the warm-up. He just wasn't feeling well and went to see the doctors." Malkin, the team's second-leading scorer, got hurt on his first shift and did not play after the first period. Johnston did not specify the nature of Malkin's injury, but he said Malkin and Crosby "might be able to play" Sunday against Detroit.
•HABS TOP ISLES: Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty scored 2:15 apart in the second period, and Carey Price stopped 35 shots as the Canadiens dealt the slumping Islanders a 3-1 loss. The Islanders have hit the skids at Nassau Coliseum, their soon-to-be former home once they relocate to Brooklyn next season. New York is 1-3-1 in its past five overall. At home, the Islanders have lost four straight in regulation, including three this week.
•JETS RALLY IN THIRD: Drew Stafford and Blake Wheeler scored third-period goals as the Jets rallied to beat the Lightning 2-1 in Tampa, Fla. Ondrej Pavelec made 15 saves for the Jets, who are in the mix for a Western Conference wild-card spot.
•CANUCKS ROLL: Derek Dorsett had a goal and two assists for the first three-point game of his career, and the Canucks beat the Maple Leafs 4-1 in Vancouver.