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Sharp Celebrates B-Day with Hat Trick as Blackhawks Roll

Chicago,  IL  (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Patrick  Sharp's  32nd  birthday  was  a 
memorable  one, as  the Chicago Blackhawks forward registered a hat trick in a 
7-2 rout of the Colorado Avalanche at United Center. 

Sharp,  who also collected an assist, scored twice in the first period and lit 
the  lamp a  third time 27 seconds  into the second period to become the first 
Blackhawk with a hat trick on his birthday. 

"It was a special game," said Sharp. "I thought maybe I could have had one the 
last  game when I  hit a post on the last shift. When things are going in like 
that  you just try to get open, get good passes from your teammates and try to 
ride it for as long as you can." 

Jonathan  Toews had two goals and two assists for Chicago, which has won seven 
of  its last  nine games.  The Avalanche  made it  fairly easy  for Blackhawk
goalie Antti Raanta, testing him with just 18 shots. 

Jean-Sebastien  Giguere was  beaten seven times by Chicago on 24 shots through 
two  periods. Semyon  Varlamov relieved  Giguere at  the outset  of the  third 
period  and  made 13 saves for  the Avalanche, who  have lost three games in a 
row, all on the road, and seven of 10 overall. 

"They  always  seemed to play well  at home and  we came out with a lackluster 
effort  in the  first," said Colorado defenseman Ryan Wilson. "It just kind of 
got out of control from there." 

Sharp  opened  the scoring 12:27 into  the contest. Positioned at the Colorado 
blue  line,  Sharp gathered  Duncan Keith's  pass and got  a step on Avalanche 
defenseman  Jan Hejda before  firing the puck from the right circle to the far 
side of the net. 

Toews and Sharp tallied 1:15 apart later in the first period. Marian Hossa was 
pokechecked  by Giguere,  but the puck went  right to Toews and he didn't miss 
from in close with 1:57 remaining. 

Sharp  then let  go a slap shot from  atop the right circle on a power play to 
make it 3-0 with 42 seconds left. 

It  didn't take  him long to complete  the trifecta as he backhanded a rebound 
past Giguere early in the middle stanza. 

Later  in  the frame, Sharp  made an  outstanding defensive play, triggering a 
counterattack  that resulted  in Toews' second goal. Sharp lifted the stick to 
thwart  a breakaway bid by Matt Duchene, then sent a long pass to Toews and he 
scored at 8:21. 

Paul  Stastny, who turned  28 on Friday, put Colorado on the board less than a 
minute  later,  but the Blackhawks  got goals from  Michal Handzus, off a nice 
feed from Patrick Kane, and Kris Versteeg to head into the second intermission 
with a 7-1 lead. 

Gabriel Landeskog scored in the third period for the Avalanche. 

                                   Game Notes 

The  last NHL player  to record a hat trick on his birthday was the late Pavol 
Demitra  with St. Louis on Nov. 29, 2002 ... Kane extended his point streak to 
13 games ... Duchene played in his 300th NHL game ... The five-goal margin was 
the  largest in a  Chicago victory on home ice against Colorado since its 1995 
relocation from Denver. 

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