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Blackhawks fall 5-4 to Sharks in home opener

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Andrew Shaw scored twice in his first game back with Blackhawks in Chicago.

San Jose Sharks v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Barclay Goodrow scored the Sharks first go-ahead goal of the season 4:47 into the third period to hand the Blackhawks a 5-4 loss in Chicago’s home opener Thursday at the United Center.

Joe Thornton muscled his way past Slater Koekkoek behind the net and found a wide-open Goodrow in front to tap the puck past Corey Crawford for the Sharks to snap a four-game skid to start the season.

Patrick Marleau tallied two goals only two days removed from signing a one-year deal to rejoin the Sharks (1-4). Brent Burns had a goal and an assist, and Dylan Gambrell and Erik Karlsson each recorded two assists. Aaron Dell stopped 26 shots.

Andrew Shaw scored two goals in his first game back with the Blackhawks (0-2) at the United Center since he was re-acquired in the offseason. Dominik Kubalik tallied his first career NHL goal, and Erik Gustafsson had two secondary assists. Crawford made 29 saves in his second start of the season.

Kubalik put the Blackhawks up 1-0 just 5:07 into the game when Brandon Saad sent a pass across the crease to Kubalik, who fired a one-timer from the right circle past Dell.

Kevin Labanc answered only nine seconds into the power play by finding a rebound down low and slinging it into the net from a tough angle to make it 1-1 at 11:30.

Less than two minutes later, Shaw regained the lead by parking in front of the net and corralling Olli Maatta’s shot from the point then jamming the puck into the net on his backhand. It was Shaw’s first Blackhawks goal at the United Center since March 22, 2016.

Marleau replicated Shaw’s effort by finding space in front of Crawford and redirecting Erik Karlsson’s shot for San Jose’s second power play goal of the game.

After the Blackhawks generated 12 high-danger chances at 5-on-5 in the first period, Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton decided to shift Kubalik up to the first line and move Alex Nylander down to the third line. The move paid off right away for the top unit, at least, with Kane sending a stretch pass to spring Kubalik on a breakaway, but he fired wide of the net. In the long run, though, the Blackhawks did not have a high-danger chance at 5-on-5 the rest of the game.

Shaw regained the lead again with his second goal of the night after DeBrincat forced a Karlsson turnover then sent a pass to Shaw, who rifled a wrister home at 9:27.

Connor Murphy, unfortunately, handed Burns’ his 200th NHL career goal just 33 seconds later when the Sharks defenseman’s shot deflected off Murphy’s glove into the net.

The high scoring game continued 2:14 later when Strome received a return pass from Kane on an odd-man rush then whipped it into the net to make it 4-3 Blackhawks.

Chicago held the lead for almost six minutes until Marleau slipped by Maatta in front and knocked in a rebound for his second goal.

The Sharks started to gain momentum in the second frame, outshooting the Blackhawks 25-9 at 5-on-5. Nylander struggled with only one shot, while being on the ice for seven against.

After going 0-for-2 on the penalty kill early on, the Blackhawks killed off the remaining 1:22 of Shaw’s cross-checking penalty to start the third. But Goodrow halted any momentum with his go-ahead goal when Gustafsson and Nylander left the Sharks winger wide-open in front.

Patrick Kane had Chicago’s best chance in the third down near the right faceoff circle, but Marc-Edouard Vlasic was able to get just enough of his stick in the way to deflect the puck away from the net.

It was Chicago’s second game of the season after a six-day layoff following their trip to Europe for the NHL Global Series. The Flyers shut out the Devils 4-0 on Wednesday in Philadelphia’s first game back from the trip. With the Blackhawks and Flyers’ results, teams are 10-18 in their first game after playing in the NHL Global Series since 2007.

Game charts

Puck possession game flow
Natural Stat Trick
Shot heat map
Natural Stat Trick

Three stars

  1. Marleau (SJ) — 2 goals
  2. Goodrow (SJ) — Game winner
  3. Shaw (CHI) — 2 goals, 5 shots, led team with 7 hits

What’s next?

The Blackhawks play Game 2 of their seven-game homestand Saturday against the Jets at the United Center.