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New year kicks off with a win
Sharks knock off Blackhawks 5-2 in the Windy City
1/1/2023 - By Mike Lee

San Jose brushed off their 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday and kicked off the new year with a 5-2 win of their own over the host Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Sunday. Five different skaters scored goals for San Jose who moved to 8-10-1 on the road this season. The win also allowed defenseman Erik Karlsson to establish a new Sharks record. Goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen made 20 saves to earn his 4th win of the season.

The Sharks fell victim to some bad luck 6 minutes into the 2nd period when goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen tried to play a puck behind his own net and ended up breaking his stick in the process. The Blackhawks worked the puck to the front of the net where Patrick Kane snapped a shot waist high to the stickless side.

Sam Lafferty made it a 2-0 Chicago lead at 13:30 when Andreas Anthanasiou fired a pass from the left wing boards. The shot was parallel with the end line, zipping past Kahkonen to Lafferty on the off post. Defenseman Scott Harrington elected to try and slide to defend the Anthansiou pass rather than simply stopping it with his stick. The Sharks defenseman was late, allowing Lafferty to score his 4th of the season.

Jonah Gadjovich cut the Blackhawks lead in half less than three minutes later. Tomas Hertl fed Erik Karlsson on the right point with a pass from behind the Blackhawks net. Karlsson fired a shot on net, but Gadjovich was there for a second attempt that he jammed home from the doorstep.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic helped San Jose tie the game 41 seconds after Gadjovich's goal when a Matt Benning pass/shot hit the Sharks defenseman in the skate and past Mrazek. The goal came in Vlasic's 1200th NHL game. It was his 1st goal of the season.

Alexander Barabanov gave the Sharks the lead with 86 seconds left in the period. The forward gathered a Logan Couture feed on the left side and circled around the slot on the right wing before lifting a shot over Mrazek for his 6th of the season.

Timo Meier scored his 21st of the season 3:52 into the 3rd period on an easy put back from outside the right post. Scott Harrington threw a shot on net from the blueline that Hertl tipped on net. Mrazek thought he had the puck squeezed not realizing it had trickled over to the right side where Meier finished things.

Evgeny Svechnikov put the game out of reach with his 4th of the season at 12:55. Nick Bonino put a shot on net from the right dot, but a deflection bounced right to Svechnikov who was straddling the end line on the right side. The winger immediately returned the puck to the net, beating Mrazek to make it a 5-2 lead.

The only blemish for the Sharks in the final frame was a pair of tripping penalties by Hertl that went defended on the penalty kill.

Game Notes

* Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic skated in his 1200th NHL game.

* With his assist on Jonah Gadjovich's goal, Erik Karlsson set a new Sharks record for consecutive points in a game. Karlsson has recorded a point in 13 consecutive games, breaking Rob Gaudreau and Jonathan Cheechoo's team record. The streak includes assists in all 13 games which is 5th longest in NHL history by a defenseman.

* Jonah Gadjovich led the team with 4 shots on goal. He also led the team with 3 hits.

* In addition to Karlsson's 2 assists, Oskar Lindblom and Logan Couture both contributed 2 helpers.

* The Sharks will fly home and then continue to Anaheim for their game on Friday.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 3 2 5
CHI 0 2 0 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, CHI, Kane 7 (Mitchell), 6:40. 2, CHI, Lafferty 4 (Athansiou), 13:30. 3, SJ, Gadjovich 2 (Lindblom, Karlsson), 15:12. 4, SJ, Vlasic 1 (Benning, Couture), 15:53. 5, SJ, Barabanov 6 (Couture, Karlsson), 18:34.
3rd period - 6, SJ, Meier 21 (Hertl, Harrington), 3:52. 7, SJ, Svechnikov 4 (Bonino, Lindblom), 12:55.
1st period - Lafferty, CHI (high sticking), 10:54; Domi, CHI (kneeing), 17:53.
2nd period - Bench, CHI (too many men), 0:54; Meier, SJ (tripping), 9:17.
3rd period - Hertl, SJ (tripping), 4:04; Hertl, SJ (tripping), 7:30.
Shots Saves
SJ - Kahkonen 22 20
CHI - Mrazek 28 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 13 10 5 28
CHI 6 10 6 22
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
CHI 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Alexander Barabanov
Erik Karlsson
Logan Couture
United Center - 19,047
Referees: #24 Graham Skilliter, #30 Kendrick Nicholson. Linesmen: #52 Shandor Alphonso, #90 Travis Toomey.

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