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Reimer shuts out Hawks
29 save performance helps Sharks get back in the win column
11/28/2021 - By Mike Lee
The first three road trips of the season for the San Jose Sharks have all been of the 5- game variety, including the start of the current trip which began with a stop in the Windy City on Sunday night. The Sharks clamped down on the Chicago Blackhawks, aided by a big 29 save performance by James Reimer. The Sharks used a pair of goals to knock off Chicago 2-0 at the United Center to grab a much needed two points in the standings.

Reimer was the man of the hour, especially in an imbalanced 1st period, which was all Chicago. The Blackhawks started the season with an awful start, mired by the sexual misconduct allegations that mired the franchise. A head coaching change has resulted in 6 wins in their last 8 games.

The Blackhawks owned the opening period, out-shooting San Jose 11-4 in the frame. Reimer was the difference here. He was not only forced to stop all 11 shots that Chicago threw at him in the period, but they were of the high quality variety, which made the netminder's performance all the more impressive.

San Jose's 4 shots were aided by an Erik Gustafsson hooking penalty, but the Sharks could not capitalize.

Roles would be inverted in the 2nd period, when the Sharks pummeled Blackhawk goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with shots. San Jose would match Chicago's 1st period shot output by the midway point of the 2nd frame, and finished with 15 shots on goal in the period.

Rudolfs Balcers and Timo Meier teemed up to make one of those shots count 13:39 in. The Sharks cycled the puck around the Chicago end boards before Logan Couture found Balcers loitering in the slot. The Sharks forward snapped a shot that clipped Meier's stick and deflecting past Fleury for the 1-0 lead.

Balcers has gone 10 games since scoring a goal, but he was the reason the Sharks scored what would be the game winning goal.

Brent Burns took an ill advised hooking penalty 7:57 into the 3rd period, putting his teammates in precarious position, but Reimer stood tall again. The Blackhawks power play ended with a shot from the slot that Reimer squeezed to help preserve the Sharks slim lead.

Blackhawks head coach Derek King elected to pull Fleury with 2:28 left in the contest. San Jose capitalized when Time Meier scored an empty netter at 18:29.

All that was left was getting Reimer the shutout. Chicago would only muster a shot by Gustafsson, but Reimer dealt with it as he did the other 28 that the Blackhawks threw his way. It was a nice way to rebound after his performance against Toronto on Friday night.

Game Notes:

* Jonathan Dahlen made his return to the Sharks lineup after suffering a shoulder injury on November 20th when the Sharks played the Washington Capitals at SAP Center. Dahlen skated 19 shifts and recorded a single shot on goal.

* Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro leads the NHL in blocked shots. He finished Sunday's game with 7 blocks.

* Logan Couture recorded a pair of assists in the game to push his season total to 11.

* The shutout was James Reimer's 25th career and 4th with the Sharks.

* The Sharks continue their trip on Tuesday in New Jersey. That game will only be available on ESPN+/Hulu. They are then scheduled to play the Islanders on Thursday, but that game is up in the air after the Islanders were hit with a COVID exposure issue. It's not clear why the NHL is not forcing the Islanders to call up farm hands to field a team as the Sharks did at the start of the season.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 1 2
CHI 0 0 0 0
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Meier 8 (Balcers, Couture), 13:39.
3rd period - 2, Meier 9 (Couture), 18:29, (en).
1st period - Gustafsson, CHI (hooking), 9:04.
2nd period - Bench, SJ (too many men), 16:20.
3rd period - Burns, SJ (hooking), 7:57.
Shots Saves
SJ - Reimer 29 29
CHI - Fleury 21 20
CHI - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 4 15 3 22
CHI 11 9 9 29
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
CHI 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
James Reimer
Marc-Andre Fleury
Timo Meier
United Center - 17,663
Referees: #48 Beau Halkidis, #17 Frederick L'Ecuyer . Linesmen: #88 Tyson Baker, #93 Kilian McNamara .

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