Sharp's injury puts damper on Hawks win
The Blackhawks picked up 2 critical points in the standings Sunday night, but the bigger story might turn out to be the knee injury suffered by leading goal-scorer Patrick Sharp.
Chris Campoli's power-play goal with 6:34 left to play gave the Hawks a 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, but now the concern is how Sharp's injury is going to affect the team's playoff chances going forward.
Sharp was helped off the ice favoring his left leg at 18:35 of the first period after he collided knee-to-knee with Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville offered no update on Sharp, saying only that the all-star winger would have his injury examined today in Chicago.
The Hawks rallied without Sharp led by rookie goalie Corey Crawford, who was sensational down the stretch after Campoli's go-ahead goal.
Crawford stopped Ray Whitney on a breakaway with 1:40 to play, then beat Whitney again in the frantic final moments after Phoenix pulled goalie Ilya Bryzgalov for a sixth attacker.
"I thought Crow made the 2 biggest saves of the year," Quenneville said.
The win gave the Hawks 86 points and moved them into fifth place in the Western Conference playoff scramble with 10 games to play.
"To get the 2 points in regulation, it's crucial coming down the stretch," Campoli said. "We knew how big a game it was."
The Hawks played a terrific first period and came away with a 1-0 lead on Duncan Keith's power-play goal at 19:30 -- a hard slap shot past Bryzgalov.
The Coyotes got the only goal of the second period at 18:43 when Eric Belanger flipped a puck at the net that deflected off Hawks defenseman Nick Leddy and past Crawford.
With Sharp done for the night, Quenneville had to juggle his lines. Troy Brouwer skated a few shifts for Sharp with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, but it was Viktor Stalberg who settled in on the top line after that and was a factor.
The Hawks caught a break at 11:40 of the third period when Shane Doan received an iffy penalty for holding Niklas Hjalmarsson.
"I've watched (the replay) about 20 times and I don't understand it at all," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "To me, there was no hold whatsoever there. It's very disappointing that a call like that can affect the game."
The power play sputtered early but cashed in late when Toews spotted Campoli charging to the net on the left side. Toews made a perfect pass to Campoli, who banged home his first goal since being acquired at the trade deadline.
Crawford took it from there to post his 28th win of the season.
"Mostly is comes down to us making sure we win games and get enough points," Toews said. "That's all we're trying to do, all we can worry about. I haven't done the math, but to me we just have to try and win every game. That's all I'm worried about or thinking about."