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Shark attack in second period sends Blackhawks to 7-3 loss

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San Jose scored three times in the middle period.

San Jose Sharks v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks’ malaise continued Sunday night at the United Center, losing 7-3 to the San Jose Sharks for Chicago’s 21st loss in its last 25 games.

But it all started so well.

Alex DeBrincat put the Blackhawks up 1-0 just 2:34 into the game when his wrist shot found its way through Sharks goaltender Martin Jones and into the net.

Just 47 seconds later, Dylan Strome redirected a Connor Murphy shot past Jones, and the Blackhawks had a 2-0 lead — a stunning reversal for a team that had surrendered the first goal in 11 straight games earlier this month.

The good times wouldn’t last, however. Melker Karlsson and Marcus Sorensen scored 42 seconds apart in the middle of the first period to tie the game at two. But a few minutes later, Chicago again took the lead when Dylan Sikura’s rush to the net — that drew a penalty — was finished off by Brandon Perlini for his first goal with the Blackhawks.

The positives ended there for Chicago, largely due to the injury suffered by Corey Crawford near the end of the first. Strome and Sharks forward Evander Kane crashed into Crawford at the end of a rush, with the back of Crawford’s head colliding with the goalpost. He left the game and did not return.

Goals from Kane, Barclay Goodrow and Logan Couture — all in the second period — made it a 5-3 San Jose lead after two periods. Kevin Labanc and Tomas Hertl added goals in the third to keep the Blackhawks firmly in the rearview mirror. To the thoughts we go ...

3 Thoughts

Crawford’s concussion

Just when seemed like this Blackhawks season was slowly trending in a more positive direction, their No. 1 goaltender went down with a concussion — the same injury that put him on the shelf for 10 months. It looked awful. And it seemed to deflate a Blackhawks team that doesn’t need any help in that regard.

San Jose dominated 5-on-5 play

Especially in the second period. The Sharks owned a 21-8 advantage on shot attempts in the second period, slowly turning the tide from what was once a 2-0 Blackhawks lead. Combine that with a +2 advantage in special teams goals, and that’s how San Jose ran away with this victory.

Chicago’s newest players are faring well

In search of a positive from Sunday’s game? Sikura had a brilliant rush to the net in the first period, resulting in the aforementioned Perlini goal. Strome also got on the scoresheet with a goal and nearly set up DeBrincat for a goal on the opening shift of the third period. It’s not much consolation, but two of the most recent additions to the Chicago lineup have been noticeable in the last few games.

3 Stars

  1. Logan Couture (SJS) — 1 goal, 1 assist
  2. Melker Karlsson (SJS) — 1 goal, 1 assist
  3. Aaron Dell (SJS) — 16 saves