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'Sharp' Blackhawks clip Red Wings in overtime

PATRICK Sharp scored 1:52 into overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over Detroit on Friday night, cutting the Red Wings' lead in the National Hockey League Western Conference finals to 2-1.

After a shot by Matt Walker, Chicago's Dustin Byfuglien scrapped for the puck in front of the net, and Samuel Pahlsson slid it across to Sharp, who drove it past Chris Osgood for his second goal of the game.

"Osgood is a good goaltender. I've scored a few from that backdoor and wasn't missing that one," Sharp said.

"There was a shot from the point and a battle over it and Sharp hammered it home," Detroit's Brian Rafalski said. "In a scrum like that, it was a nice play."

The Red Wings rallied from a 0-3 deficit with three goals in a 4:23 span in the second. Detroit's burst quickly silenced a raucous crowd before it erupted again with the late winner.

"A lot of teams probably would have gone the other way after giving up a three-goal lead, but we stayed with it," Sharp said. "After they scored the third one, we played some of our best hockey. When we needed to play our best period of the season we did and carried it into overtime."

Chicago got two goals in just over a minute of the first period, with Sharp and Andrew Ladd scoring.

Long shot

Less than a minute into the second period, Pahlsson deflected a Duncan Keith long shot to make it 3-0 to the Blackhawks.

The lead came at a cost, with Martin Havlat forced out of the game after a crushing hit from Detroit's Niklas Kronwall.

Detroit pulled its first goal back when Nicklas Lidstrom scored on a powerplay, getting a deflection off Pahlsson's skate. Rafalski's wrist shot from the right circle got by a screened Chicago goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, making it 3-2, and the Red Wings were right back in the game.

Then with 59 seconds to go in the period, Tomas Holmstrom got in Khabibulin's way and Jonathan Ericsson's shot from the top of the right circle tied it up.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville made a goalie change at the start of the third period, with Cristobal Huet taking over for Khabibulin. It was not immediately known if Khabibulin was just pulled or was injured.

It was the second straight game in the series to be decided in overtime. Detroit won 3-2 in the first extra period last Tuesday.

Game 4 is in Chicago tomorrow.


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