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Sharp highlights second-period surge in Blackhawks win

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- The Chicago Blackhawks

are enjoying success they have not experienced in almost 28

years.

Patrick Sharp scored the go-ahead goal to highlight a key

second-period surge and help the Blackhawks extend their winning

streak to seven games with a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver

Canucks on Saturday.

Patrick Kane added a power-play tally in the second and captain

Jonathan Toews registered an empty-netter with 39 seconds

remaining in the game for the Blackhawks, who last won seven in

a row from January 4-21, 1981 - when their run reached eight

contests.

"The team's playing great," Kane said. "A lot of guys are

contributing. It's just a lot of fun right now. Everyone's

making a lot of plays. It almost seems like whoever we put on

the ice is going to do the job right now. It's fun to be a

'hawk."

Daniel Sedin notched his 15th goal of the season and Curtis

Sanford made 31 saves, but the Canucks saw their two-game

winning streak come to an end.

"You've got to base your games on the process," Vancouver coach

Alain Vigneault said. "I thought we came out real well, played

a good first period.

"In the second, I thought we played better than them but they

won the second period, 2-0, and that team right now is the best

team in the NHL."

Vancouver had been 10-1-0 in its last 11 home games against

Chicago.

Daniel Sedin did not waste much time in giving his team an early

edge, converting passes from Jannik Hansen and brother Henrik

Sedin just 3:45 into the first.

"It's really frustrating," Daniel Sedin said. "We had great

chances to make it 2-0, and they go down and tie the game after

that. That's not very encouraging."

Chicago snapped out of its brief lapse on the offensive end and

forged a tie 2:51 into the following session when Kane netted

his 16th goal of the season with a backhander in front of the

net.

Kane has five goals and eight assists in his last 10 games.

"I think we're a young team and earlier in the season we were

playing pretty well and we didn't seem to be winning games like

this," Kane said. "We seem to be learning how to win these

games here."

Sharp gave the Blackhawks the lead for good by taking passes

from Toews and defenseman Cam Barker and firing a wrister from

the top of the slot.

"We're really doing a great job of sticking to our structure,

our game plan throughout 60 minutes," Sharp said. "I think the

biggest thing is that we're just a young team.

"Winning's new to us, but we're having a great time doing it.

They always say winning is contagious, we're all having fun,

it's a loose locker room and it's a great time to be on the

'hawks right now."

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville has been very pleased with

Sharp's play.

"(Sharp) has been scoring for us all year," Quenneville said.

"He's been a very big part of our offense, big part of our power

play and he scores big goals like he did tonight."

Toews secured the victory by sliding a wrist shot from mid-ice

into the open net for his ninth tally of the season.

"It's always exciting. Winning's fun," Quenneville said.

"That's what it's all about. Part of the process is how we're

going to reflect on it. We still think that we want to get

better. But it's been a fun group to work with. There's a lot

of excitement in the room right now and we just want to keep

going."

Starting for the second time in five contests, Cristobal Huet

stopped 30 shots for Chicago, which finished a three-game,

western Canada road trip.

"We managed the three games very well," Huet said. "That was a

tough one tonight, too. We did what it takes to win games and

that's most important."

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