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Blackhawks’ Kane Scores SO Winner To Sink Penguins

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Kris Letang, Corey Crawford

(Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (KDKA/AP) — A shootout goal by Patrick Kane lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over the Penguins Sunday afternoon at the United Center.

In his first game back after serving a four-game suspension, Matt Cooke scored a short-handed goal in the second period to tie things up at 1-1 and get the Penguins back in the game.

Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 29 stops for the Penguins, including a point-blank glove save on a shot by Chicago’s Michael Frolik. Corey Crawford had 24 saves for the Blackhawks.

Blackhawks’ All-Star forward Patrick Sharp opened the scoring in the first period.

The top line of Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Kane used a series of quick passes to exploit the Penguins’ coverage breakdown. Sharp fired in his team-leading 31st goal on a one-time shot from the slot after taking a feed from Toews.

Cooke’s short-handed goal came with 6:08 left in the second period. Cooke completed a 2-on-1 break by taking Max Talbot’s feed and firing it past Crawford after Blackhawks’ defenseman Brent Seabrook had sprawled to try to break up the pass.

Bryan Bickell’s screened goal 1:09 into the third period put Chicago ahead 2-1. He surprised Fleury with a floating 45-foot wrist shot from the left boards as Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek apparently blocked Fleury’s view.

But Brett Sterling fired in a rebound from the edge of the crease with 3:18 left to tie it at 2-2. Crawford initially stopped a shot by Tyler Kennedy, but the Blackhawks were unable to clear the loose puck and Sterling fired it into the open net.

After a scoreless overtime, Kane connected for the game-winner in the third round of the shootout after Fleury stopped Toews and Sharp.

Crawford blocked shots by Kris Letang and Kennedy after Pascal Dupuis hit the post on the Penguins’ first attempt.

In overtime, Jordan Staal was hit by a shot while positioned in front of the net during a power play. The team issued no statement on his condition.

The Penguins continue to play with an injury-depleted lineup. They were without nine players, including star forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Crosby hasn’t played since Jan. 5 due to a concussion and Malkin is recovering from knee surgery.

The Blackhawks played in their third straight game without head coach Joel Quenneville. He is recovering from gastrointestinal bleeding caused by an ulcer. Assistant coach Mike Haviland was in charge in Quenneville’s absence.

The Penguins return to Pittsburgh for a game Monday night against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m.

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