Thursday started out looking like the rest of the Sharks’ games this season. They were scored on in the first 10 minutes for the fourth game in a row. The Sharks looked destined for a loss for most of the first period. On the good side, they managed to tie it up before the end of the period, which they hadn’t managed to do in the four previous games.
The second period looked better than the first, though it wasn’t perfect. A couple fast breaks for the Blackhawks sandwiched Sharks goals to end the second frame tied at 4.
The Sharks gave their best performance in the third period. They took the lead less than five minutes into the period and held onto it for the rest of the game. That’s something to be proud of, right?
Also good: the Sharks scored a power-play goal and did not allow any shorthanded goals against. The man-advantage seems to be trending in the right direction. Small sample size though.
Oh also Patrick Marleau scored twice in his first game back as a Shark. He hasn’t even had a chance to practice with the Sharks this season. He’s really good at getting to the right areas of the ice to score. Once he has time to practice with his new-old teammates, his experience will become more lethal.
18:26: Kevin Labanc showing a lot of improvement from his Wednesday performance. I like the drive to the net through the middle of the ice.
15:31: The Sharks got deep into the Blackhawks’ zone, which was cool. Until one bad decision by Erik Karlsson lets Chicago snag the puck and rush with numbers.
14:53: Someone just scored their first NHL goal on Aaron Dell. Every Shark was focused on Dell’s right-hand side, allowing Dominik Kubalik an easy look. Dell should have frozen the puck when he had the chance.
8:39: The Sharks have a power play opportunity after Ryan Carpenter interferes with Karlsson.
8:30: Kevin Labanc scores from the flattest angle to tie the game. Logan Couture and Evander Kane had two rapid-fire shots beforehand.
8:00: Aaron Dell makes a key save on a Brandon Saad breakaway. If he’d scored there it would have been highly upsetting.
6:38: Update: I am highly upset. Andrew Shaw gets three opportunities on Dell’s doorstep. That’s two too many, frankly, and he regains the Chicago lead.
3:55: Based on how action around Dell’s crease has ended up twice so far...I’m surprised we aren’t listening to Chelsea Dagger again right now.
1:34: Patrick Kane goes to the box for roughing on Brenden Dillon. Better him in the box than the Sharks’ Kane.
0:16.1: Patrick Marleau tips through a double-screen to tie the game before the first intermission. That’s pretty cool.
0:00.4: Brendan Dillon shoves Andrew Shaw away from the play. I can’t blame him, but he puts the Sharks on the penalty kill to start the second period.
END FIRST: Sharks 2, Blackhawks 2
Well, this is the first time the Sharks haven’t been trailing after the first 20 minutes.
They’re letting the Blackhawks get too close to Aaron Dell, and Aaron Dell isn’t making the best decisions when the Blackhawks are hounding him.
17:22: Patrick Marleau goes down a bit rough in the corner. Glad to see him pop back up none the worse for wear.
10:52: Kendall Coyne-Schofield is smart. Both teams seem to be forgetting about defense.
10:33: Speaking of forgetting about defense...Erik Karlsson lost the puck and Andrew Shaw gets his second goal of the game.
10:00: I’m gonna keep playing this “forget to defense” thing. Brent Burns decided to act like a forward and his shot from deep in the zone actually paid off. 3-3, and Burns’ 200th career goal.
7:46: Tomas Hertl’s line fails to score on a three-man passing play. The Blackhawks take it down to the other end. Dylan Strome gets the goal. There’s a perfect pattern of alternating goals here.
2:14: Patrick Marleau scores his second goal of the game. He made getting inside position look easy.
0:38.2: Andrew Shaw cross-checks Dillon behind the play. Ref caught him, giving the Sharks a late-period power play.
END SECOND: Sharks 4, Blackhawks 4
Well, the Sharks have scored the most goals of the season in this game. Two came from Patrick Marleau who is good at getting where he needs to be.
I’ve been impressed with Kevin Labanc tonight, which is a huge step forward from last game. If only the whole team would take that step forward with him. Labanc can’t win this on effort alone.
15:13: The Sharks have their first lead of the season! Only took til their fifth game.
8:48: Brent Burns takes a cross-checking penalty behind the play. Not ideal.
6:48: Penalty killed.
1:29: The Sharks ice the puck, allowing the Blackhawks to pull Corey Crawford for an extra attacker.
FINAL SCORE: Sharks 5, Blackhawks 4
While Jonny Brodzinski is returning to San Jose after clearing waivers this morning, the San Jose Sharks are settled in at United Center, waiting to take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Both teams are hoping to get their first win of the 2019-20 season, though the Blackhawks have only dropped one game to the Sharks’ four, against the Philadelphia Flyers in Prague on October 4.
The similarities don’t stop there, with both teams bringing back fan favorite players for another chance at glory. Patrick Marleau will make his debut with the Sharks tonight after two years with the Toronto Maple Leafs, while Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad both returned to the Blackhawks after being traded to the Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets, respectively.
Along with re-integrating veteran players, both teams are trying to figure out how to work in young, inexperienced newcomers. Alex Nylander, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat all see top-six minutes with this Chicago squad, learning from linemates like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Meanwhile, on the teal side of the ice, Dylan Gambrell will be centering the fourth line with fellow newbie Danil Yurtaykin and Melker Karlsson, while Lean Bergmann will see a promotion to ... the third line. Ah, well.
Expected Scratches: Lukas Radil
Injured Reserve: Dalton Prout (upper body), Jacob Middleton (undisclosed), Tim Heed (upper body), Radim Simek (knee), Marcus Sorensen (undisclosed)
Blackhawks (via NHL.com)
Alexander Nylander — Jonathan Toews — Patrick Kane
Alex DeBrincat — Dylan Strome — Andrew Shaw
Brandon Saad — David Kampf — Dominik Kubalik
Zack Smith — Ryan Carpenter — Drake Caggiula
Duncan Keith — Erik Gustafsson
Olli Maatta — Brent Seabrook
Slater Koekkoek — Connor Murphy
Expected Scratches: Brendan Perlini,
Injured Reserve: Calvin de Haan (groin), Kirby Dach (concussion)
Where to Watch
Puck drop is at 5:30 p.m. Pacific/8:30 p.m. Eastern from United Center in Chicago. The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports California in the Bay Area and NBC Sports Chicago in the Chicago broadcast area, with streaming available through NHLtv. You can tune in to the radio broadcast on 98.5 KFOX or through the Sharks + SAP Center app.