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Sharks 7, Blackhawks 3: Sharks turn something bad into something good

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Martin Jones yanked early, Aaron Dell perfect in relief

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Chicago Blackhawks David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Sharks proved something they shouldn’t have had to tonight, that they can win a game after going down 2-0 to a bad team in the first period.

A lot of hockey events happened in this game. Both teams scored two goals within a minute during the first period; both starting goalkeepers left the game (unfortunately, Corey Crawford left due to injury); matching minor penalties led to some 4-on-4 play (the 4-on-4 became a 4-on-3 for the Blackhawks; and a player was injured by an uncalled high stick and returned to score a goal.

The Sharks scored five unanswered goals to win the game 7-3. Two players scored their 10th goals of the season. Evander Kane scored a power-play goal in the second period for his 10th of the season, and Tomas Hertl scored the Sharks’ seventh goal of the game unassisted. That also was his 10th of the season. The Sharks now have five players with 10 or more goals this season.

Aaron Dell played over two periods of perfect hockey after replacing Martin Jones. Jones allowed three goals on four shots faced. It doesn’t count as a shutout for Dell, but not allowing goals is his job and he did that well.

The Sharks will continue their road trip with a visit to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

Pregame

The Sharks have a chance to set their longest winning streak of the season tonight when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games, so the Sharks need to take advantage of Chicago’s slide.

Three Sharks players have more than 30 points so far this season, including Timo Meier who has six points in his last three games.

The Sharks opted not to have a morning skate today.

Lines

Sharks:

Blackhawks (via Second City Hockey):

Saad — Toews — Kahun

DeBrincat — Strome — Kane

Sikura — Kampf — Perlini

Hayden — Kruger — Martinsen

Keith — Jokiharju

Seabrook — Gustafsson

Dahlstrom — Murphy

Crawford

Ward

Where to Watch

The game will be broadcast on NCS Sports California and streamed online at NHL.tv. Radio listeners can tune in on KFOX.

Liveblog

Jamie Baker spoke to Brent Burns, who has played a whole dang lot of NHL hockey, pregame. I’m most impressed by the top braid though. Faceoff comes soon.

First Period

17:26: Well, the Sharks allowed the first goal. The Blackhawks got a pass through the neutral zone to Debrincat while the Sharks trying to switch all five skaters.

16:39: I was still typing for the first goal, and the Sharks are down by 2 now. Strome gets credit for this one. The Blackhawks recently traded to get him from Arizona.

(Apologies for inaccuracies in timestamps. NBC Sports California’s stream didn’t have the game clock for some reason?)

11:29: The Sharks finally get their second shot on goal. The Blackhawks have scored on both of theirs.

10:02: Karlsson, Melker scores for the Sharks!

9:20: Once again, I was typing guys! Marcus Sorensen ties it. Sharks’ passing has looked great on both goals.

8:08: I know I just said that the Sharks’ passing has looked great...but Burns’ neutral-zone pass got picked off by Kane. Simek was there to shut him down, but that’s not so good.

7:06: The Blackhawks get a haphazard rush into the Sharks’ zone that would have given the Blackhawks a power play...had Brendan Perlini not tapped the puck in before the Sharks were able to stop play.

6:07: Chicago gets a power play just a minute later when Jonathan Toews draws a slashing penalty on Dillon.

5:08: NBC Sports California and I have just noticed that Jones got switched out for Aaron Dell. The goalie change happened immediately after Dillon went to the box.

1:30: Someone’s getting a penalty, and Corey Crawford is rattled after Logan Couture gets a breakaway. Crawford is leaving the ice due to a multi-player pileup in the Chicago net. We wish all the best to Crawford, nobody likes to see a player leave the game like that. Dylan Strome takes a high-sticking penalty and Evander Kane takes a goaltender interference penalty.

0:46: Timo Meier is sent off after Duncan Keith lays himself out for getting tapped in the thigh.

End of First Period

A whole dang hockey game worth of hockey has happened in that period.

It looked real bad real quick for the Sharks before the depth forwards stepped up to make things less bad. Both teams have changed goalies and the second period will start with a 4-on-3 Chicago advantage. The Blackhawks’ 4-on-3 power play will become a conventional 5-on-4 about 30 seconds into the period.

All things considered, I’d rather go into the second period down 3-2 than down 2-0.

Second Period

18:13: A lot has happened already. Sharks killed the penalty, sent Karlsson (Erik) on a breakaway, then gave up a 3-on-1 in return that the Blackhawks whiffed on at the last pass. Still a 3-2 game.

17:12: David Kampf didn’t drop his broken stick. Sharks to their first power play.

16:56: Labanc took a stick under the visor that somehow the refs didn’t see. He’s off to get the wound closed up.

15:39: The Sharks’ Kane dunks the rebound in from just outside the crease and we’re tied again.

15:08: The Sharks go back to the front of the net and almost take the lead. Radil’s shot hit the post; he was in too tight on the net with a left-handed shot.

13:19: Sorensen’s line gets good passing again but the puck just escapes Marcus all alone in front of Ward.

12:24: The Sharks ran a good cycle low and moved it back high to Braun. Barclay Goodrow tipped Braun’s long shot and the Sharks take the lead.

11:27: Evander Kane gets sent off for a trip.

8:10: Just saw Labanc back on the ice!

3:44: The Sharks ran a good cycle and moved it back high to Braun Dillon. Barclay Goodrow Logan Couture tipped Braun’s Dillon’s long shot and the Sharks take extend the lead.

End of Second Period

That went so much better than the first that I felt like it was a different game. The Sharks scored all the goals that period and generally carried play. They kept the puck in the Hawks’ zone several times, especially in the last 10 minutes, to grind the Hawks down and generate chances. The Sharks only allowed eight shots on goal and Aaron Dell saved all of them.

Hopefully the third period goes like the second period did and not like the first.

Third Period

19:45: Dell had to make a big save in the first 15 seconds of the period. This is not what any of us wanted. See just up there? Where I said the third period shouldn’t go like the first period? That was some first period stuff.

13:27: We’re over a quarter of the way through the last period and besides the scare in the first minute...there hasn’t been much to get excited about. It’s been somewhere between the first and second period in terms of performance. Not as bad as it was but not as good as it could be.

12:47: The Blackhawks took one shot in the first seven-ish minutes of play, then got two within a minute and drew a penalty to cap it off.

8:33: The Sharks will have another power play after the commercial break. They’re 1/1 so far.

6:57: The Sharks just baaaarely keep the puck in the zone and get it to Labanc on the right side. He goes short-side top corner and Blackhawk fans go home.

1:33: Tomas Hertl scores just for fun, which must be always.

Final Score: Sharks 7, Blackhawks 3. The Sharks have a four-game win streak!