There is no love lost between these two teams. The Hawks were inspired early when Jonathan Toews got into a fight with Joe Thornton. This was payback for the gutless punches that Thornton threw at Toews last year that caused his concussion. While Toews actions meant that the Hawks had to kill four minutes of penalty time, he felt it was worth the price. Fortunately, the Hawks killed off the penalty for 3:24 until the Sharks took a penalty. Dave Bolland would get the Hawks on the board during the 4 on 4 at the end of the period when he knocked in his own rebound past Antti Niemi.
The second period featured more offensive firepower from the Hawks. After his dump in hit the post, Marcus Kruger scored on the tap in as Niemi had no idea where the puck was. The Sharks would get on the board two minutes later when Tim Kennedy slammed home a Logan Couture pass to cut the lead to 2-1. The Hawks would take advantage of another dumb Sharks penalty when Andrew Shaw knocked a puck in mid air past Niemi for a power play goal. In the third period, the Hawks relied on Ray Emery to continue his solid play. The final tally came from Niklas Hjalmarsson who scored his first goal of the season on a slap shot from just inside the blue line.
What it means
The Hawks are now 11-0-3 and are two games away from tying the record for most consecutive games to starts a season without a regulation loss. They now have 25 points out of a possible 28.
3 stars of the game
3. Ray Emery- Emery played well in place of the injured Corey Crawford who is out with an upper body injury that may be a concussion. On the night, Emery made 27 saves on 28 shots to improve his record to 4-0-0 this year.
2. Niklas Hjalmarsson- Hjalmarsson can make the case that he is among the Hawks who have been most improved this season. He scored his first goal of the season on a beautiful slap shot and added an assist. He also played 20+ minutes on the night as well.
1. Marcus Kruger- Kruger is starting to heat up and provide the Hawks with the vital depth scoring that they need. In his last 5 games, he has scored 3 goals. In addition, Kruger made a great play on Hjalmarsson’s goal as instead of dumping the puck back in he passed it back to Hjalmarsson. Kruger had one goal and one assist and was a plus 2 on the night.