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Home ain't where the heart is
Blackhawks snap Sharks win streak at SAP
11/25/15 - By Mike Lee -

In the NHL, home ice is supposed to be a safe haven. The Sharks aren't your typical NHL team right now. After taking 6-of-6 on the road, the Sharks returned home on Wednesday night and promptly dropped a 5-2 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks in the not-so-friendly confines of SAP Center. San Jose slept-walked through the opening 20 minutes of the game and spent the rest of the night chasing the Blackhawks.

San Jose only scored twice, but in each instance the Blackhawks pounced, answering with goals that squashed any thought of a run by the Sharks.

All the positives that came from the recent road winning streak were forgotten 5 minutes into the game. The puck rarely crossed the Chicago blueline through the first half of the 1st period, and San Jose didn't record a shot on goal until the 13:07 mark.

San Jose was either outclassed, or unprepared for the Blackhawks relentless play. Chicago attacked on every shift and pursued every loose puck with speed that exposed the Sharks.

While the Sharks were trying to find their legs, the Blackhawks were peppering Martin Jones. Brent Seabrook staked Chicago to a 1-0 lead 8:39 into the game, firing a shot from the left point through an Artem Anisimov screen that beat Jones inside the right post.

Ryan Garbut put the Sharks on the power play after tripping Joonas Donskoi at 13:46 of the period. San Jose used the chance to knot the game at 1-1 when Brent Burns sniped a one-time chance from the left dot. Joe Pavelski set up Burns with a pass through the slot. Burns dropped to a knee as he uncorked the same shot that has potted goals in the last three games for San Jose.

I took the Blackhawks less than 2 minutes to respond.

Jonathan Toews skated up the left wing and snapped a shot that beat Jones over the left shoulder. Matt Tennyson committed a catostrophic error when he tried to pinch in his own zone as the puck cycled along the left wing boards. Ryan Garbut chipped the puck to a streaking Toews as Tennyson vacated his defensive position, springing the Blackhawks captain.

The Sharks ended the period with 12 giveaways in the period, which attributed to the 11-5 disparity on the shot counter.

San Jose picked up the pace in the middle frame, but missed chances prevented them from gaining any ground on Chicago. Mike Brown missed on breakaway 6 minutes into the period, losing control of the puck as he raced in on Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford.

Duncan Keith pushed the Blackhawks lead to a pair of goals with a shot from the left wing boards that beat Jones low glove side. Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic screened his own goaltender on the play, cutting off Jones line of sight perfectly.

Patrick Marleau injected a bit of life in the Sharks bench midway through the 3rd period with a shot that hit the right post, deflecting into the net for his 8th goal of the season. The Sharks forward floated from the right side, arching his way to the left dot before wristing a shot that pinged loudly in the all but silent arena.

Former Shark Andrew Desjardins silenced the crowd 67 seconds later, hacking at a loose puck in front of the Sharks crease and punching home his 1st goal of the season. Desjardins was a trade deadline acquisition by the Blackhawks before they went on their Stanley Cup run last spring. It was a tough pill to swallow. Not only did it wash out Marleau's work, but it came from the Blackhawks 4th line.

Andrew Shaw stuck a fork in the Sharks with an empty net goal late to cap the game's scoring.

Game Notes:

Justin Braun was scratched for an undisclosed upper body injury. Mirco Mueller picked up the slack and was a -2 on the night.

Tomas Hertl and Tommy Wingels were no-shows in the 3rd period. Neither player saw the ice in the final 20 minutes of the game. Neither appeared to be injured, not did head coach Peter DeBoer comment on their absence after the game.


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1 2 3 T
CHI 2 1 2 5
SJ 1 0 1 2
1st period - 1, CHI, Seabrook 5 (Kane, Panarin), 8:39. 2, SJ, Burns 9 (Pavelski, Marleau), 14:56, (pp). 3, CHI, Toews 8 (Garbutt, Shaw), 16:24.
2nd period - 4, CHI, Keith 3 (unassisted), 12:20.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Marleau 8 (Burns, Ward), 11:20. 6, CHI, Desjardins 1 (Kero, Hjalmarsson), 12:27. 7, CHI, Shaw (unassisted), 19:17, (en).
1st period - Thornton, SJ (high sticking), 3:02; Garbutt, CHI (tripping), 13:46; Krueger, CHI (unsporstmanlike conduct), 17:03; Burns, SJ (tripping), 19:25.
2nd period - Kane, CHI (high sticking), 2:53; Burns, SJ (tripping), 10:10; Bench, CHI (too many men), 19:50.
3rd period - Anisimov, CHI (holding), 3:48.
Shots Saves
CHI - Crawford 29 27
SJ - Jones 25 21
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CHI 11 6 9 26
SJ 5 12 12 29
Power Play Conversion
CHI 0 of 3
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Kane
Duncan Keith
Artemi Panarin
Referees: Morton, Rank. Linesmen: Rody, Murchison.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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