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California, Here We Come: Blackhawks 5, Sharks 2

The Blackhawks pick up their first win of the season in San Jose.

Chicago Blackhawks v San Jose Sharks Photo by Kavin Mistry/NHLI via Getty Images

After going down 2-0 in the first period, the Chicago Blackhawks rallied to get their first win of the season, defeating the Sharks 5-2 Saturday night in San Jose.

Nico Sturm opened the scoring to make it 1-0 Sharks 13:58 into the first period. Erik Karlsson sent a beautiful pass across the royal road to Sturm who sniped through traffic

Karlsson would then score his own goal with 38 second remaining in the first with a shot from far out. It originally looked like Logan Couture had tipped the puck, but on review, it was just a clean shot from the defensemen.

Jonathan Toews cut the Sharks’ lead in half to make it 2-1 a little less than midway through the second period. After a mini breakaway, the captain pulled off a vintage Toews move, sliding the puck behind a sprawling goalie to score.

Sam Lafferty scored his first career NHL shorthanded goal to tie the game 2-2 at the 8:27 mark of the middle frame. Lafferty collected Jason Dickinson’s rebound and buried the puck in tight.

Lafferty got his second short-handed goal just 2:08 later to give the Blackhawks their first lead of the game and the season. After Dickinson’s initial shot went wide of the net, he managed to send a pass while laying down to Lafferty to make it 3-2 Blackhawks.

Taylor Raddysh added a goal about five-minutes into the third period the to double the Blackhawks lead. T. Johnson blocked a shot that sprung Raddysh on a breakaway.

The Blackhawks goals just kept coming as Dickinson scored to make it 5-2 with 11:23 left in the game. Dickinson pokechecked the puck between Tomas Hertl’s legs at the defensive blueline to create a breakaway opportunity for himself.

And 5-2 would be the final score as the Blackhawks beat the Sharks.


  • The purpose of this season from an organizational standpoint may be to tank, but from a fan standpoint, there’s nothing better than watching the Blackhawks win. Yes, the Sharks are likely one of the few teams worse than the Blackhawks this season but we should take the victories where we can get ‘em.
  • The game started out looking like the previous two — being outshot and outchanced — but the Blackhawks turned it around in the second period and never took their foot off the gas. They had 64.77 and 55.92 percent of the expected goals share in the latter two periods respectively. The Sharks still out puck possessed the Blackhawks but quality of quantity worked well here.
  • That Toews goal looked like one from his prime years, didn’t it? Let’s hope we see a lot more of that this season.
  • Athanasiou needs to be moved away from Kane, immediately. He’s a good, fast player but the and his rock hands are a waste of Kane’s passing ability.
  • It’s always a little thrilling for the the penalty kill to score, so that made tonight’s game doubly fun. Lafferty and Dickinson had some insane chemistry out there. The Blackhawks matched the number of shorthanded goals tonight that they had all last season.
  • Speaking of Dickinson, you shouldn’t expect nights like this from him that often: before tonight, he’d only had six multi-point games in his career and only two were for three points. But hey, maybe this will be his breakout season.
  • T. Johnson had a pretty spectacular night as well, especially the shot-block for the Raddysh goal which was a thing of beauty. Like Toews, he looked almost like his old self. Who knows if that’ll be true for the whole season but it’s cool to see right now at least.
  • Caleb Jones had another rough game tonight, especially when it came to turnovers. He did miss most of the preseason due to an injury, so perhaps he’s just not as ramped up as other Blackhawks players, but the issues we’ve seen in the last two games were ones he had last year too.
  • Regula sitting when Tinordi and J. Johnson are playing over 21 minutes a night is kind of ridiculous. Send the kid back to Rockford already.
  • The Sharks honored Doug Wilson before the game, and it was pretty very special to see the Blackhawks wearing his jersey during warm-ups.

Game Charts

Three Stars

  1. Jason Dickinson (CHI) — 1 goal, 2 assists
  2. Sam Lafferty (CHI) — 2 goals, 1 assist
  3. Tyler Johnson (CHI) — 2 assists

What’s next?

The Blackhawks head home to the United Center Friday to face the Detroit Red Wings at 7:30 p.m.