The Chicago Blackhawks (11-0-3) defeated the San Jose Sharks (7-4-3) for the second time this season and has extended San Jose’s winless streak to seven.
While the Sharks were noticably physical all game with quite a few great hits that did not matter because Chicago was just too fast and able to take advantage of opportunities when they arose whereas the Sharks could not.
The first period was full of missed opportunites for the San Jose Sharks who went zero for three on the power play and ended up finishing two of those early when they committed penalties of their own with the man-advantage.
Things started getting really heated after Adam Burish got chippy in front of the Blackhawks’ net after the whistle, and then a few minutes later when a fight broke out between the two captains Joe Thornton and Jonathan Toews that ended anti-climactically.
The ice was finally broken in the final minute of the period when Dave Bolland scored off his own rebound on a two-on-two when Niemi could not find the puck. Patrick Kane was credited with the assists and Chicago held the 1-0 lead into intermission.
In the second period the Blackhawks struck again as Marcus Kruger knocked in a goal with Niemi out of position after an unfortunate bounce off the boards for the Sharks.
Chicago scored again on a scramble in front of the net on the power play that looked like was last touched by Pavelski who was trying to knock the puck down. Either way the goal was credited to Andrew Shaw and the Sharks again found themselves with a two-goal deficit. San Jose ended the period with a great few chances on consecutive shifts but were unable to get any goals. The period ended with Chicago leading 3-1.
The third period started out slow but Chicago scored again on what seemed like a harmless puck to the net from Niklas Hjalmarsson that ended up beating Niemi who looked like he did not see the puck due to a great screen in front.
A couple of minutes later Ray Emery makes his best save of the night robbing Burish of a sure goal on a rebound chance. The Sharks ended the game with a flurry of chances after another unconverted power play but it was too little too late with the three-goal deficit and the Blackhawks won the game 4-1.
My 3 Stars
1. Marcus Kreuger (1 goal, 1 assists)
2. Niklas Hjalmarsson (1 goal, 1 assist)
3. Jamal Mayers (2 assists)