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Offense comes alive in the Windy City
Sharks knock off the Blackhawks 7-3
12/16/18 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks always seem to be on the road, and visiting barns have been less than inviting. They finally had some success in a foreign arena. San Jose kicked off another quick 2-game jaunt away from SAP Center with a stop at the United Center in Chicago on Sunday night. The offense came alive against the downtrodden Blackhawks, scoring 7 goals in a 7-3 knockout of their hosts. Seven different Sharks scored goals in one of the best showings of the season.

The outcome was an about face from the start of the contest which was not one of San Jose's finer moments. Throw away the opening 4 minutes of the game, and you have perfection. The first 4 minutes leave something for this team to work on.

The Sharks were late to the party early in this one, allowing two quick goals by the Blackhawks. Alex DeBrincat staked Chicago to the 1-0 lead just 2:34 into the game when he whipped a shot form the top of the left circle as he was pivoting toward the slot. Defenseman Justin Braun was positioned between DeBrincat and the Sharks goal, but he failed to get a stick in front of the shot. Martin Jones didn't help matters by knocking down the stoppable shot, but allowing it to trickle past him and over the goal line.

Dylan Strome pushed that lead to 2-0 just 47 seconds later when he deflected a Connor Murphy shot as he skated near the bottom of the right circle. The Sharks were soft behind their goal, allowing Patrick Kane to muscle the puck off Logan Couture and feed Murphy who uncorked his shot from the high slot. Strome was floating through the slot and got a blade on the puck to force a direction change that fooled Jones.

San Jose roared back with a pair of goal themselves just 42 seconds apart. Melker Karlsson snapped a shot from the right dot that slipped past Corey Crawford's right skate for his 3rd goal of the game. Lukas Radil earned the primary assist by hitting Karlsson with a long pass from the left point.

Marcus Sorensen tied the game at10:40 of the period, receiving a pass from Joe Thornton with his back to the Blackhawks net. Sorensen gathered Thornton's pass then slipped a backhand shot through Crawford's pads for his 6th goal of the season.

The defensive pairing of Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Braun continued to struggle. Chicago took advantage at 12:54 of the period when a Dylan Sikura lead pass hit Brendan Perlin as he broke up the middle of the ice. Justin Braun was forced to haul Perlin down, but he didn't hold him down. With Vlasic coasting to follow, Perlin regained his skates and jammed the puck past Jones for the 3-2 lead.

That would spell the end of Jones evening, who was pulled in favor of Aaron Dell.

Crawford would also fail to finish the game after he was injured on a play that saw Evander Kane draw a goaltender interference penalty for pushing a Blackhawks defender into the Chicago netminder. Cam Ward would finish in net for Crawford.

The Sharks reclaimed the initiative in the 2nd period. David Kampf was whistled for playing with a broken stick, and the Blackhawks league worst penalty kill could not hold the Sharks. Evander Kane punched home a deflection at 4:21 to re-tie the game at 3-3.

Barclay Goodrow gave the Sharks their first lead of the game 3 minutes later when he deflected a Braun shot from the point. Goodrow sat at the top of the crease and jumped up in the air to make sure his skates didn't block the shot, but when it veered left the Sharks forward clipped it with the shaft of his stick for his 5th tally of the season.

Logan Couture made it a 5-3 Sharks lead with 3:44 to play in the period when he deflected a knuckling Brendan Dillon shot from the left point. Couture was parked in front of the net and had to lift his stick to get his blade on the waist high trajectory. The goal was Couture's 11th of the season.

Patrick made an poor decision on a play in the Sharks zone, drawing a tripping penalty at 11:27 of the 3rd period. The Sharks jumped on the ensuing power play chance when Kevin Labanc roofed a shot from the bottom of the right circle, sailing the puck over Ward's left shoulder for his 4th goal of the season.

San Jose gets a day off to travel to Minnesota where they will face the Wild on Tuesday.

Game Notes:

* Martin Jones was pulled at 13:53 of the 1st period, which was the third-shortest start of his NHL career.

* Brent Burns had three assists in the game and recorded his 600th NHL point on Kevin Labanc's goal.

* Kevin Labanc was sporting a nasty cut between his right eye and the bridge of his nose after he was caught with a high stick by Andreas Martinson. All four on-ice officials missed the infraction, which should have resulted in a 4-minute penalty.

* 13 skaters recorded points in the game for San Jose and neither of them was Joe Pavelski or Timo Meier.

* Erik Karlsson led all skaters with 9 shots on goal in the game. Compare that to the 20 total shots that Chicago put on net in the game. Karlsson added 2 hits and an assist in the game.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 2 3 2 7
CHI 3 0 0 3
1st period - 1, CHI, DeBrincat 4 (Gustafsson), 2:34. 2, CHI, Strome 1 (Murphy, Kane), 3:21. 3, SJ, M. Karlsson 3 (Radil, Burns), 9:58. 4, SJ, Sorensen 6 (Thornton, Labanc), 10:40. 5, CHI, Perlin 3 (Sikura, Seabrook), 12:54.
2nd period - 6, SJ, Kane 10 (Burns, E. Karlsson), 4:21, (pp). 7, SJ, Goodrow 5 (Braun, M. Karlsson), 7:36. 8, SJ, Couture 11 (Dillon, Kane), 16:16.
3rd period - 9, SJ, Labanc 4 (Burns, Hertl), 13:03, (pp). 10, SJ, Hertl 10 (Couture), 18:27.
Penalties
1st period - Dillon, SJ (slashing), 13:53. Kane, SJ (goaltender interference), 18:30; Strome, CHI (slashing), 18:30; Meier, SJ (tripping), 19:14.
2nd period - Kampf, CHI (playing with a broken stick), 2:48; Kane, SJ (tripping), 8:33.
3rd period - Labanc, SJ (tripping), 7:13; Kane, CHI (tripping), 11:27.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 4 1
SJ - Dell 16 16
CHI - Crawford 8 6
CHI - Ward 35 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 14 21 43
CHI 5 8 7 20
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 2
CHI 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Evander Kane
Melker Karlsson
Brent Burns
Attendance
United Center - 21,237
Officials
Referees: Dwyer, MacDougall. Linesmen: Cameron, Tobias.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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