Blackhawks blow another lead in an embarrassing 7-2 loss to Sharks

Chicago starts off March with a big loss.

The San Jose Sharks scored seven goals, including four in the second period, to hand the Chicago Blackhawks a 7-2 loss Thursday night at SAP Center.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead just 2 minutes, 12 seconds into the game on an Artem Anisimov goal. The Blackhawks have now scored the first goal in 15 of their last 19 games. They are just 5-8-2 in that span.

Chicago’s embarrassing defense than took over as “Yakety Sax” could have played over the speakers at SAP Center no one would’ve blinked an eye. The Sharks had their way all night with Chicago’s third-line pairing of Erik Gustafsson and Carl Dahlstrom, who turned the puck over and were caught out of position on several occasions. The other two pairings weren’t much better.

Joe Pavelski scored twice for San Jose, while Dylan DeMelo added three assists and Joonas Donskoi had two helpers. Martin Jones stopped 32 shots in the win for San Jose. Jones has allowed only four goals in his past three games against Chicago at home.

The biggest lapse in the game came from Dahlstrom in the final seconds of the second period. Chicago goaltender J-F Berube gloved a shot and dropped the puck to his left side then Dahlstrom, a rookie, kicked the puck directly to San Jose’s Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who bounced the puck off Berube’s backside with 1.8 seconds left in the second frame.

It was that kind of night for Chicago.

Berube gave up six goals on 28 shots and was pulled for Anton Forsberg after two periods. Forsberg made five saves in the final frame.

Anthony Duclair had a chance to add Chicago’s second goal of the game late in the third period on a penalty shot, but he stick-handled his way too much and failed to get a shot proper off.

Nick Schmaltz would give the Hawks their second goal with his 18th goal of the season with 32.6 seconds left to make the scoreline a little less embarrassing.

Matthew Highmore made his NHL debut in the No. 36 sweater, the same number wore by 2013 Stanley Cup-clinching goal scorer Dave Bolland. Highmore, 22, recorded two shots on goal and blocked one shot in 12:33 of ice time.

Chicago trails Anaheim and St. Louis by 12 points for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. The Hawks have Friday off before beginning a mid-afternoon back-to-back Saturday in Los Angeles. They wrap up their California swing Sunday in Anaheim.

3 Stars

1. Joe Pavelski, 2 goals (SJ)

2. Dylan DeMelo, 3 assists (SJ)

3. Martin Jones, 32 saves (SJ)