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Sharp's hat trick leads Blackhawks past Avalanche

CHICAGO -- Patrick Sharp scored three goals for his third career hat trick and set up one of Jonathan Toews' two scores to lead the Chicago Blackhawks past the Colorado Avalanche 7-2 on Friday night.

Toews added two assists, and he and Sharp both finished with four points. Michal Handzus and Kris Versteeg also scored for the Blackhawks, whose NHL-leading offense powered them to a second straight win. They are 7-1-1 in their past nine.

Colorado's Paul Stastny and Gabriel Landeskog beat rookie Antti Raanta, who finished with 16 saves in his eighth straight start — all since Blackhawks top goalie Corey Crawford sustained a lower-body injury on Dec. 8

Sharp, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Friday, has 21 goals this season and 10 in nine games. He scored twice in Chicago's previous game against New Jersey on Monday.

Bruins 5, Senators 0 Tuukka Rask made 33 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and Reilly Smith scored two goals to pace Boston's rout of Ottawa.

The Bruins are 13-0-2 in their last 15 home games and have won eight straight in Boston. They haven't lost there in regulation since Oct. 26.

Rask (20-8-2) has allowed one goal or fewer in 15 of his 30 starts this season. After earning only 19 wins last season, he is the third goalie with 20 NHL wins this season.

Boston tied a club record, set in 1929, by having a player score two goals for the seventh straight game. Smith has done it three times. Jarome Iginla, David Krejci, and Brad Marchand also scored.

Robin Lehner made 36 saves for Ottawa, which has dropped four of five.

Capitals 3, Rangers 2 Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist, and Eric Fehr scored the tiebreaking goal with 5:09 left to carry Washington over the New York Rangers.

Moments after New York defenseman Dan Girardi's drive hit the post, Fehr took a pass from Backstrom during 4-on-4 play, skated in, and beat goalie Cam Talbot from the right circle for his sixth goal.

Mike Green added a goal, and Philipp Grubauer had 37 saves for Washington, which had dropped two straight before taking the finale of a three-game homestand.

Benoit Pouliot and Carl Hagelin scored for New York, which had won two straight.

Talbot, making his third straight start in place of No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist, stopped 31 shots in the opener of a five-game road trip.

Other games on Friday:

Penguins 4, Hurricanes 3, OT

Blue Jackets 2, Devils 1, SO

Jets 6, Wild 4

Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 3, SO

Sharks 4, Coyotes 3, SO

Stars 4, Predators 1

Oilers 2, Flames 0

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Duncan Keith #2 of the Chicago Blackhawks pushes the puck up the ice past P.A. Parenteau #15 of the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, Dec. 27. (AFP)

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