For the third time in as many games this season, the Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks went to a shootout. And for the third time, the home team won -- albeit a little faster than the first two.
Patrick Sharp's goal in the third round of the shootout gave the Hawks a 3-2 win over the Avs at the United Center on Wednesday night. Sharp's forehand past Craig Anderson ended the shootout in the regulation three rounds -- the Hawks needed nine rounds to win on Oct. 10, and the Avalanche won in eight rounds last Friday in Denver.
"Any time you face a team so many times in a short period of time, it's pretty difficult. This is the third shootout we've had against them," Sharp said. "There aren't too many moves left, but luckily we got one in there."
No one was more relieved than Hawks coach Joel Quenneville.
"I'm glad it didn't go any longer than that," he said of the three-round shootout.
Anderson, a former Hawk and a Chicago-area native, stopped 37 shots through 65 minutes but was beaten by Jonathan Toews in the first round of the shootout. After Marek Svatos tied it in the second, Sharp scored in the third to win it.
"He made some nice moves yesterday in practice," Quenneville said, "and we know he can score on breakaways. He's got a nice touch and nice finish."
Cristobal Huet made 25 saves for the Blackhawks, who have won five in a row at home.
"Our home-ice advantage speaks for itself, because of all these fans here," Sharp said.
The game went to a shootout only because of Anderson -- Chicago outshot Colorado 19-3 in the third period and overtime.
"We had a good first two periods," Avs coach Joe Sacco said. "I knew in the third period they were going to come out and push us. They got the goal to tie the game."
Since starting the season 10-1-2, the Avalanche are 2-3-1.
"You're never happy when you give away a point," Sacco said of the disappointing outcome. "Our guys played with good effort tonight, good compete on the puck. This time we came up on the short end of the shootout."
Colorado's Kyle Cumiskey scored 9:44 into the game when he fired a shot that went wide, but chased the puck behind the net and flipped a centering pass that went into the net off Huet. Patrick Kane tied it at 15:20, wristing a shot from the left circle over Anderson's glove-side shoulder.
Wojtek Wolski scored his team-high ninth goal at 13:10 of the second to put the Avalanche ahead 2-1. The Avs had several chances to extend its lead and impressed Quenneville with their work ethic.
"They played well -- their puck pursuit and their quickness. They stripped us so many times from behind," Quenneville said. "Our puck protection was weak. They're a fast team."
Chicago's Cam Barker tied it again at 4:56 of the third, stickhandling all the way down the ice before beating Anderson over the glove.
"You're not going to hold them down too long," Sacco said. "They're a good hockey team."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.