The Chicago Blackhawks (8-0-2) defeated the San Jose Sharks (7-2-1) by the final of 5-3 after they overcame two 2-goal deficits in the first period. This marks San Jose’s 3rd straight loss while Chicago has yet to lose a game in regulation.
Todd McClellan once again juggled his lines and it seemed to pay off. First, he moved Clowe up to the first line and dropped Marleau to the second line. The third line, which ended up being the best for the Sharks and generated all kinds of chances and 2 goals, consisted of Tommy Wingels, Michal Handzus, and James Sheppard. Gomez once again was down on the 4th line.
The first period was packed with goals and the scoring started early. Joe Pavelski scored just 2:52 into the game giving the Sharks a quick 1-0 lead.
About a minute and a half later Tommy Wingels scored his first goal of the season on a beautiful snipe that beat Chicago goalie Corey Crawford top-shelf. After those 2 quick goals the Blackhawks called a timeout to sort themselves out and slow down San Jose’s quick start.
After the timeout Chicago scored their first of the game on a goal by Brandon Saad who scores his first of the season. San Jose answered immediately with a goal by Michal Handzus on a shot that beats Crawford on the short side.
Chicago answered once again, this time just 8 seconds after the San Jose goal with a goal by Andrew Shaw. Then about 40 seconds later Marcus Kruger ties the game for the Blackhawks at 3-3. The last four goals of the period all occured within a span of 1 minute and 29 seconds.
The second period was highlighted by a great hit by Andrew Desjardins on Jamal Mayers that he ended up getting a 5 minute major and match penalty because it was deemed a blow to the head. After the hit Chicago’s Duncan Keith came over and he and Desjardins got into a fight.
The hit was 100% clean and it was absolutely a blown call that ended up being a huge turning point in the game. Rather than San Jose gaining momentum on the great play they got the wind taken out of their sails.
With the bad call, rather than the Sharks ending up with a 4 minute power play, both teams went 4 on 4 for 5 mins and thats when the Blackhawks took the lead. Jonathan Toews ended up picking Douglas Murray‘s pocket and then sent a nice feed across to Patrick Kane who buried the goal into the open net. Chicago took the 4-3 lead into the locker room.
The third period did not fare any better for San Jose who just could not put any more goals past Crawford. Both teams traded chances, but in the end Patrick Kane scores his second goal of the game on an empty netter with just over 1 minute left in the game to put the nail in the coffin.
The Sharks will get some much needed rest getting 3 days off before facing the Phoenix Coyotes on February 9th at 4pm.
My 3 Stars
1. Patrick Kane (2 goals)
2. Jonathan Toews (2 assists)
3. Tommy Wingels (1 goal, 1 assist)