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Patrick Sharp's two short-handed goals help Blackhawks beat Blues 3-2

ST. LOUIS - Patrick Sharp was in the right place at the right time for the Chicago Blackhawks. Not once but twice.

Sharp's two third-period short-handed goals enabled the Blackhawks to come away with a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.

Sharp became the first Blackhawks player to score two short-handed goals in a game since Steve Sullivan did it against Colorado on January 26, 2001.

"That's the first time that's ever happened to me," Sharp said. "We have forwards that can skate in here that want to have short shifts and keep our legs fresh. So both of those goals were results of speed up ice and aggressiveness."

Sharp's winning goal came after Blues goalie Manny Legace tried to play a puck to defenceman Barret Jackman. The puck skipped over Jackman to Rene Bourque, whose shot was blocked into the slot, and Sharp's high wrister to the glove side beat Legace with 2:21 left. It was Sharp's fifth of the season.

"All I know is we have the puck under perfect possession and five-and-a-half seconds later, it's in the back of our net after we had a couple of great chances at the other end," Blues coach Andy Murray said.

Sharp also scored a short-handed goal that gave Chicago a 2-1 third period lead as he stole the puck from Jackman and raced in on a breakaway, beating Legace with a backhand shot over the right pad 7:41 into the third period.

With Chicago's Patrick Kane off for holding, Jackman didn't get off a clean shot from the point and as he tried to corral the puck, Sharp came in and stole the puck, racing in on Legace.

"Yeah, he played a heck of a game for us," Blackhawks coach Dennis Savard said of Sharp. "Our penalty killing has gotten really good in the last few games."

Chicago's Dustin Byfuglien also scored for the Blackhawks. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 20 of 22 shots in goal for Chicago.

St. Louis, which was coming off a 3-2 road victory over Minnesota on Thursday, got goals from rookie David Perron and Paul Kariya.

Byfuglien, recalled earlier in the day from the Blackhawks' minor league affiliate in Rockford, Ill., gave Chicago a 1-0 lead 4:45 into the first period on a slap shot from the top of the left circle. Byfuglien, who notched his fifth career goal, took a drop pass from Rene Bourque and beat Legace top shelf stick side.

Legace stopped 19 of 22 shots for St. Louis.

"With two determined teams, really it's a chess game out there tonight," Savard said. "We came up with the result we wanted. It was a good effort by everybody."

Later in the first, Perron's first NHL goal tied it at one, and Perron did it from the seat of his pants. Perron took a centring feed from Doug Weight and as he was being pulled down by Byfuglien in the crease, the puck trickled in off Perron and past Khabibulin at 15:44. The play was reviewed, and the goal stood.

Kariya tied the game at two for the Blues for his third of the season. Kariya split a pair of defencemen and his shot was deflected into the net off the stick of Chicago's Jim Vandermeer with 5:20 to play in the third period.

St. Louis' Jay McClement had a chance to give the Blues the lead in the second period, but McClement hit the cross bar on a short-handed breakaway with just over six minutes remaining. Kariya also hit the cross bar on a redirection in the second period. McClement also hit the post in the third period.

Notes: Blackhawks rookie C Jonathan Toews had his points streak snapped at 10 games. Toews' streak to start a career is second all-time only to Boston's Dmitri Kvartalnov, who began his NHL career with a 14-game point streak in 1992. Blackhawks R Patrick Kane was named rookie of the month for October. Kane recorded five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in 12 games. ... The Blues are one of four teams not to have dropped consecutive games this season. Detroit, Ottawa and Boston are the others. Blues R David Backes suffered a knee injury in the first period and did not return. Both teams will play again on Sunday. St. Louis plays at Columbus. Chicago entertains Nashville.


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