EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp focused not on scoring against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals, but on doing things that have often led to him scoring.
"I felt like [in Game 3], individually, I was around the net a little more, hanging onto the puck down low," Sharp said after practice on Sunday. "Whether you're creating chances or getting chances yourself, it's always nice to have those feelings. I try not to judge myself the way I'm playing off goals and assists, but at this time of year, those things are important. I want to give my best to help the team that way."
Sharp admitted prior to Game 3 he was frustrated by having only two goals after 14 playoff games. He’s been accustomed to scoring throughout his career. In the playoffs last season, he had eight goals through 14 games.
Sharp has tried to stick with what’s worked in the past throughout his recent slump. He was especially active in Game 3 on Saturday and attempted nine shots, which included a team-high four shots on net.
Sharp was rewarded for his play when he redirected a shot into the net in the final five seconds of the third period on Saturday. It was his first goal in five games.
"It’s always nice to score," Sharp said. "It’s obviously better to score in a win. But felt a lot better waking up this morning knowing I was around the net a little bit more and was able to bounce one in. Hopefully, we can keep scoring and I can get one in a win tomorrow."
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane was optimistic Sharp’s production would begin to meet his level of play after picking up the goal.
"It’s nice to see pucks going into the net," Kane said. "Whether it deflects off you or you can tip it out of the air, you can score off a shot -- any way you see a puck go in the net, obviously it makes you feel good. He’s had chances. He’s been playing well, and, obviously, it’s nice to see him get one, too. I’m sure he was happy about it."