Chicago started their trip with a 3-0 loss a week ago in Nashville then managed to grab three of a possible four points during a back-to-back with a 4-3 overtime loss in Los Angeles and a 3-2 overtime win in Anaheim. Patrick Kane scored the game-winner 24 seconds into overtime off a feed from Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith for an all-Conn Smythe goal. It was only the second win in the past eight games for Chicago.
Rookie defenseman Adam Boqvist made his NHL debut Saturday and scored his first career NHL goal Sunday for the first goal by a Blackhawks blue liner at 5-on-5 this season. He’s the third Chicago rookie to score a goal in his second NHL game, joining Dominik Kubalik and Kirby Dach.
Alex Nylander tallied an assist in each game during the back-to-back and is up to seven points (two goals, five assists) in 12 games which is tied for third with Dylan Strome on the team in scoring. Nylander’s play — both offensively and defensively — has seen him rise to the top line alongside Brandon Saad and Toews, who linked up with Nylander on Boqvist’s goal. Saad, however, hasn’t scored a point in five straight games, but that could change quickly with his new linemates.
Robin Lehner is slated to start after a 36-save performance against the Ducks. He’s 3-2-2 with a .939 save percentage, which ranks third in the NHL behind Boston’s Tuukka Rask (.949) and Arizona’s Darcy Kuemper (.940). Lehner is 1-5 with a .924 save percentage in six career starts against the Sharks.
San Jose has been outscored 22-8 during its five-game losing streak after a 5-2 loss to the Canucks on Saturday night, when they fell behind 4-0 only 25:11 into the game. Slow starts are one of several things that have contributed to the Sharks’ slide as they’ve allowed the first goal a league-high 11 times in 15 games, and only managed to make a comeback in two of those outings.
The Sharks should be better defensively Tuesday with Radim Simek’s expected return from tearing his ACL and MCL last March. Prior to the injuries, Simek paired with Brent Burns on San Jose’s top defensive line.
Chicago hasn’t found much success on the power play with a 12.8-percent conversion rate, which ranks 28th in the NHL. If the Blackhawks get an opportunity on the man advantage they’ll likely have even more trouble scoring against the Sharks’ top-ranked penalty kill that has plenty of bite.
Burns leads the Sharks with 11 assists and 14 points. Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane are tied for second with 12 points, and Kane has a team-high eight goals. Martin Jones is expected to start in net against Chicago. He’s 2-7-1 with a 3.52 goals-against average and .887 save percentage this season.
The Blackhawks’ lost their home opener, 5-4, to the Sharks on Oct. 10. Patrick Marleau scored twice in his first game back with San Jose and Burns tallied his 200th NHL goal and had an assist. Aaron Dell made 26 saves.
Andrew Shaw netted two goals, Kubalik had his first NHL goal and Corey Crawford made 29 saves.
Tale of the tape
Blackhawks — Statistic — Sharks
47.3% (27th) — Corsi For — 50.2% (14th)
48.7% (22nd) — Faceoffs — 51.5% (7th)
2.38 (28th) — Goals per game — 2.40 (27th)
3.00 (t-16th) — Goals against per game — 3.73 (4th)
12.8% (28th) — Power play — 22% (13th)
79.1% (21st) — Penalty kill — 89.6% (1st)
Saad — Toews — Nylander
DeBrincat — Strome — Kane
Kubalik — Kampf — Dach
Caggiula — Carpenter — Shaw
Keith — Boqvist
De Haan — Seabrook
Maatta — Gustafsson
Kane — Couture — Labanc
Meier — Hertl — Goodrow
Sorensen — Thornton — Marleau
Bergmann — Gregor — Radil
Simek — Burns
Vlasic — Karlsson
Dillon - Ferraro
How to watch
When: 9 p.m.
Where: SAP Center; San Jose, California
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Live stream: NBC Sports app