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Quick Bite: Patrick Marleau’s 499th career goal helps lead Sharks past Blackhawks 3-1.

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Tomas Hertl scored the game-winner with 2:03 left in the third period.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at San Jose Sharks John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Tomas Hertl scored the game-winning goal with 2:03 left in the third period and Patrick Marleau scored career goal 499 to lead the Sharks to an impressive 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The four days of rest for the non-All Star Game attendees was beneficial for the Sharks and Blackhawks as both teams looked re-energized in the first period.

Just minutes into the period, Ryan Hartman lead a breakaway for the Blackhawks but Martin Jones, fresh off his appearance in the All-Star Game, made an incredible save on Hartman who tried to beat Jones with his backhand.

The Sharks powerplay, which has struggled mightily so far this season, got two looks with the man advantage on two separate hooking calls. Joe Thornton was subtly hooked by Artemi Panarin entering Chicago’s zone which sent the Sharks to their first powerplay of the game. In fact, Jamie Baker’s microphone picked up an unseen Blackhawk chirping the call of the play with some choice language.

Midway through the period, Ryan Carpenter was called for a trip on Dennis Rasmussen and Chicago had its turn with the powerplay. The Blackhawks got some good looks against the Sharks, including a loose puck that ended up in the crease after hitting Paul Martin’s skate as the Sharks were trying to clear the puck behind their own net. Jones was able to sandwich the puck under his pads, denying Marian Hossa of a goal.

The Sharks’ second powerplay came with under three minutes left in the period when Hartman was whistled for hooking Joe Pavelski. Again, the Sharks had trouble generating chances against Chicago’s penalty kill and were unsuccessful in snapping their powerplay woes.

The Sharks momentarily took a 1-0 lead on Patrick Marleau’s 499th career goal midway through the second period. Marleau scored from behind the goal net on a Mikkel Boedker shot that rebounded off the boards to the right off Crawford. Marleau corralled the puck and just barely got it past Crawford who intially covered the left post, leaving the right side of thet net open for Marleau.

However, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville challenged the goal for offsides. Video review confirmed what Quenneville challenged as Boedker couldn’t keep his right toe on the ice as Marleau entered the zone with the puck, and suddenly Marleau no longer had career goal 499 and it was a scoreless game again.

But wait! Artem Anisimov was called for holding Marc-Edouard Vlasic and the Sharks went back on to the powerplay for the third time. And you know what they say..third time’s a charm. In typical San Jose fashion, Brent Burns snapped a wrister from the blue line that Joe Pavelski tipped in front of the net into Crawford’s pads that rebounded out to the left of Crawford...right for Marleau to pick up and beat Crawford top shelf. This one counted and Marleau, for the second time in just minutes, had career goal number 499 and gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead. That’s what I call poetic justice, folks.

Unfortunately, the Blackhawks are no fun and tied the game up with a little more than three minutes left to play. Using Martin as a screen, Rasmussen snapped a shot that beat Jones in the top right corner of the net, hitting the crossbar and falling in for a goal. I truly believe Jones didn’t see the puck at all as he reacted as the puck was already past him. Rasmussen’s fourth goal of the season tied the game at 1-1 and that’s how the score remained heading into the third period.

The Blackhawks opened the third period with a fury of shots before the Sharks could register their first. Patrick Kane had a breakaway but was tripped by Burns in a desperate attempt to stop Kane, giving Chicago its third powerplay of the game. For the third time all night, the Sharks penalty kill prevented the ‘Hawks from scoring with the advantage thanks to some saves from Jones and a large PING! off Jones’ left post on an Anisimov shot from the point.

With just 2:03 left in the game, Burns snapped a shot which rebounded off the boards and behind Crawford long enough for Tomas Hertl to poke the puck in for the goal and a 2-1 lead. The goal was Hertl’s fifth of the season and his first since coming back from his injury which kept him sidelined for two months. FUN. MUST. BE. ALWAYS.

Immediately after Hertl’s go-ahead goal, Crawford was pulled for the extra-attacker but the Blackhawks weren’t successful in entering San Jose’s zone and sustaining pressure, leading to a Pavelski empty-netter with :45 seconds left and a San Jose 3-1 win over those nasty Chicago Blackhawks.

Notes:

  • This was an incredibly fun game to watch. If the Sharks and Blackhawks meet in the playoffs, I don’t know if my heart will be able to take it.
  • It was mentioned on the broadcast a few times and it’s worth repeating: Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun did an incredible job shutting down Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews tonight.
  • #Marleau500GoalWatch is officially on as he’s sitting at 499. The Sharks are on the road the next five of six games, so here’s hoping Patty can get 500 against the Coyotes on Saturday at home.

Fear the Fin’s 3 Stars

  1. Patrick Marleau
  2. Martin Jones
  3. Tomas Hertl