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Blackhawks leave Sharks sinking in 5-4 victory

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Two goals from DeBrincat helped the Hawks deliver the Sharks’ seventh straight loss.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks may not end up in this season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they were a nemesis for one of its future participants on Thursday night, defeating the San Jose Sharks 5-4.

After failing to score more than two goals in the last six games, the Blackhawks opened this game with three goals in the first 11 minutes. Alex DeBrincat opened the scoring with a power play goal just four minutes into the game.

Connor Murphy doubled the Hawks’ advantage a few minutes later when his one-timer from the point redirected off a San Jose defender and past goaltender Martin Jones:

Jonathan Toews pounced on a rebound and buried it past Jones for a 3-0 Chicago lead:

Lukas Radil scored one minute after Toews’ goal when his wrist shot went in and out of the glove of Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, ultimately landing in the net for a 3-1 game after one period. Gustav Nyquist added a power play goal 2:33 into the second period to bring the Sharks within one.

And then a couple of former OHL teammates combined forces when Dylan Strome’s pass found DeBrincat wide open in the slot. DeBrincat made no mistake, scoring his 40th goal of the season.

The two-goal advantage didn’t last long, however. Tomas Hertl scored another power play goal for the Sharks just two minutes later to make it a 4-3 game. San Jose then tied it up when Timo Meier cashed in on a breakaway with just under four minutes remaining in the second period.

Like everything else in this game, though, that 4-4 tie didn’t last long. With two minutes remaining in the second period, Patrick Kane launched a soft backhander towards the San Jose goal and Chris Kunitz redirected it past Jones, giving Chicago a 5-4 advantage into the second intermission.

Kunitz’s goal proved to be the game-winner, as both team’s defenses arrived for the final 20 minutes in what was an uneventful third period. Crawford made a few key saves to keep the Hawks in front for their first regulation victory in six games.

Up next

The Blackhawks complete this three-game road trip against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

3 Stars

  1. Alex DeBrincat (CHI) — 2 goals
  2. Jonathan Toews (CHI) — 1 goal, 1 assist
  3. Tomas Hertl (SJ) — 1 goal, 2 assists