Jan 5, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) moves the puck against San Jose Sharks defenseman Jason Demers (5) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
A nasty night in Chicago didn’t lead to many empty seats at the United Center for a big matchup between the San Jose Sharks and Blackhawks. The Hawks did what they usually do and put tons of shots on the San Jose net, but none of them went in early on. The Sharks took a 1-0 lead when Logan Couture fed Jason Demers and Demers got one past Crawford that Corey should have stopped. The Hawks continued to pepper surprise starting Sharks goalie Alex Stalock. Stalock stopped everything the Hawks threw at him. Brandon Bollig took a very bad penalty at the end of the period but the improving Blackhawks PK killed off the man advantage.
The Hawks for the 2nd game in three nights had a case of the bad turnovers at the wrong time, but Corey Crawford was huge in the 2nd period making big save after big save bailing out the Blackhawks turnover machine. The biggest story of the 2nd period was Quenneville was blending lines at a postseason rate, but there is no way to hide Michal Handzus. For a team built on speed and puck possession, Handzus is a terrible fit especially during the regular season. For one of the few times this season the Hawks head to the third period without a goal scored.
The Hawks came out with a huge surge early into the third period and the Hawks took advantage when Hjlmarsson got the puck in the slot and buried it to tie the contest. The Hawks didn’t let off the gas pedal and seemingly moments later Michal Rozsival rifled one from the point and Stalock couldn’t stop it short side and just like that the Hawks led 2-1. The Sharks turned up the pressure after the Hawks took the lead, but shot after shot Crawford was up to the challenge. Joe Thornton mwade a real nice pass to Brent Burns in front of Crawford to tie up the contest at 2 with 8:50 left to play in the third. Both teams had their chances but regulation would not decide this contest. The refs were very iffy tonight but they did drive 7 hours to get to the game so props to them.
In overtime the Hawks controlled a lot of the action though Crawford stopped an odd man rush midway through the extra 5 minutes. In a rare night the opponents out shoot the Hawks 42-35 but it all comes down to a shootout at the United Center. The Sharks scored on their first two shots in the shootout for the extra point.
– The refs were shaky all night long.
-The Hawks fall to 6-7-4 when they don’t score first.
-Quenneville has to get Kane away from Handzus STAT!
STAY SAFE Chicago!!! See you back on Wednesday!!