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Rapid Reaction: Hawks 3, Penguins 2

CHICAGO -- A quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 3-2 shootout win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday at the United Center.

How it happened: It took 65 minutes and a shootout, but the Hawks prevailed after Patrick Kane made a highlight-reel move to score the only shootout goal by either team. Corey Crawford stopped all three shooters. After a shorthanded goal by Pittsburgh late in the second period tied the game, Bryan Bickell scored on a wrist shot early in the third. But the Hawks gave the lead back late, as they have so often this year. Patrick Sharp scored his 31st goal in the first period on a nice passing play. The Hawks owned the opening period, but lost some momentum on the shorthanded score by Matt Cooke.

What it means: With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup for the Penguins, this was a must-win and the Hawks came through. All four lines contributed at some point, while the only downer was the Hawks power play. It didn’t score and yielded a Penguins tally after Sharp pinched, causing an odd-man break the other way. The Hawks improved to 30-23-6 but are still on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. The victory bucked some trends as the Hawks were just 5-10-1 when tied after two periods while the Penguins were 13-2-3.

What’s next: The Hawks jump on a plane immediately following the game for another matinee in St. Louis on Monday. The Blues have made some major trades, breaking up their core, but have responded with a three-game winning streak, including a 9-3 drubbing of Anaheim on Saturday.