The Blackhawks defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on Tuesday night. They head to Phoenix for their fifth straight game on the road on Thursday.
The battle between the two early leaders of the NHL did not disappoint as there were plenty of fireworks early. The Sharks would get on the board early when Joe Pavelski would beat Corey Crawford just under three minutes into the game. About two and half minutes later, Tommy Wingels would make the game 2-0. Wingels would beat Crawford with a wicked wrister that beat Crawford. Joel Quenneville would call his timeout which would set off the craziness later.
The Hawks were getting outhit and dominated in the game. But halfway through the first period the Hawks would get on the board. Jonathan Toews would pass it to Brent Seabrook who would deke into the offensive zone and find Brandon Saad who would score his first career goal. But 41 seconds later the Sharks would score again when Michal Handzus would score his first goal of the year. However, eight seconds later the Hawks would score to cut the lead to 3-2. Bryan Bickell would retrieve a Viktor Stalberg shot and go behind the net. Antti Niemi had no clue where the puck was and Bickell past to the front where Andrew Shaw pounded the puck past Niemi. The madness wasn’t done yet as Marcus Kruger found a loose puck in front of the net and scored his first goal of the season. The game was 2-0 halfway through the period and 89 seconds later it was 3-3. After the madness of the first period the teams settled down as well as the goalies.
The second period featured plenty of great saves by both Crawford and Niemi. The game would get a little nasty when Andrew Desjardins was ejected after hitting Jamal Mayers near the head. Replays showed that there was no contact with the head but Desjardins may have left his feet to make the contact. Duncan Keith jumped in to defend Mayers and was given a ten minute misconduct. That meant that it was a four on four for the next four minutes. The Hawks would capitalize when Toews picked the pocket of Douglas Murray in front of the Sharks net. Toews would fire a pass to Patrick Kane for the one timer to give the Hawks their first lead of the night.
The Hawks would take the lead into the third period. Crawford was stellar in the third period and stopped all 11 shots he faced. Kane would score his second goal of the night when he potted an empty netter with just over a minute to play.
What it means
The Hawks are now 2-0-2 on the road trip. They are the only team in the NHL to not lose in regulation. With 18 points, the Hawks are the top team in the Western Conference.
3 stars of the game
3. Tommy Wingels- Wingels played a phenomenal game for the Sharks. He had one goal and one assist. In addition, Wingels had 5 hits and was a physical presence for the Sharks.
2. Patrick Kane- Kane had his sixth multi point game of the season so far. Kane had 2 goals on the night After the depth scoring got the Hawks back in the game, Kane was part of a star driven effort to secure the win.
1. Jonathan Toews- The best player on the ice was Toews. He was an animal on offense and defense. The pick pocket of Murray was the best you will see in a game all year. Toews set up the game winner. He also made a sweet dish on the goal by Saad. Toews also won 17 of the 26 faceoffs that he took.