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Hawks set record with win over Sharks
Offense continues to struggle
2/22/13 - By Mike Lee -

The Chicago Blackhawks are a sad team. They're sad that they won't be seeing the Sharks anymore this season. Chicago set an NHL record with their 17th consecutive game in which they recorded a point to start a season by beating San Jose with a 2-1 win at the United Center on Friday night. The win was Chicago's third in as many tries against a Sharks team that continues to struggle.

Chicago breaks the Anaheim Ducks record of 16 straight games to record a point at the start of a season, feasting on the Sharks this season. San Jose played a spirited 40 minutes, but after surrendering a short-handed goal at the start of the 3rd period, the offense couldn't muster any presence in the Blackhawks zone.

The Sharks looked like a different team than the one that struggled to move the puck out of their own end a week ago against the Blackhawks. With three days rest since knocking off the Blues, San Jose had fresh legs that moved well.

Their ability to get to open spots on the ice helped eliminate a number of second chances for Chicago. A week ago the Sharks gave too many follow up opportunities, which resulted in goals. Chicago outshot San Jose 11-8 in that opening period, but without rebounds to haunt them the Sharks managed the Blackhawks.

San Jose was content to get out of the period with a clean score sheet, but Patrick Marleau slipped a puck past Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery with 14.5 seconds left in the period to put the Sharks up 1-0. Marleau pounced on a rebound in the slot after Joe Thornton bounced a shot off the Blackhawks goaltender. It looked as if Emery was going to stop Marleau as well, but the puck rolled on end along Emery's left pad, crossing the goal line for the late goal.

Penalties prevented the Sharks from generating much momentum in the first half of the 2nd period. Michal Handzus took a lazy hooking penalty at 1:53 of the period, then T.J. Galiardi was sent off for boarding Daniel Carcillo.

After their own power play stalled, the Sharks surrendered the tying goal with 3:20 left in the period when Viktor Stalberg put a shot on goal off the rush. Defenseman Brent Burns deflected the shot into his own net after the puck entered the crease from the left side.

Brent Seabrook set the table for the Sharks early in the 3rd period by taking a tripping penalty to put San Jose on the power play. A special teams letdown cost San Jose when Brendan Saad skated the puck up ice during the penalty kill and snapped a shot off the right post, beating Antti Niemi to put Chicago up 2-1. Brent Burns was a little disinterested in getting back to take the shot away from Saad, which cost the Sharks.

Brian Bickell setup another Sharks power play at 5:21 of the period, but San Jose's anemic special teams unit couldn't get the puck past Emery. San Jose had 7 shots on goal during the two minute span, but they put 6 shots on net the rest of the period.

With the absence of pucks headed in Emery's direction, San Jose had no scoring chances in the last 10 minutes of the game.

When the Sharks did approach the net, their luck would turn on them. Tommy Wingels had a wide open look at the net from 15 feet out late in the period, but his stick snapped in two off a shot attempt that trickled harmlessly wide of the net.

Niemi was pulled with a minute to play, but the Sharks couldn't get the puck into the Chicago zone. Andrew Shaw added injury to insult by plastering Joe Pavelski from behind with 8 seconds left in the contest. Ryane Clowe got his name on the scoresheet by going after Shaw, earning a roughing minor and a game misconduct for his late appearance in the contest.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 0 1
CHI 0 1 1 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Marleau 11 (Thornton, Pavelski), 19:45.
2nd period - 2, CHI, Stalberg 4 (Kane), 16:40.
3rd period - 3, CHI, Saad 3 (Rozsival, Keith), 2:24, (sh).
Penalties
1st period - None.
2nd period - Handzus, SJ (hooking), 1:53; Galiardi, SJ (boarding), 9:53; Bolland, CHI (hooking), 13:58; Rozsival, CHI (holding), 18:07.
3rd period - Seabrook, CHI (tripping), 0:27; Bickell, CHI (spearing), 5:21; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 19:51; Clowe, SJ (game misconduct), 19:51; Shaw, CHI (boarding), 19:51.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 34 32
CHI - Emery 27 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 6 13 27
CHI 11 10 13 34
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
CHI 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Brandon Saad
Ray Emery
Viktor Stalberg
Attendence
21,670
Officials
Referees: Charron, Meier. Linesmen: Nelson, Galloway.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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