Sharks Hand Blackhawks 7th Straight Loss, 5-3
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Benn Ferriero scored the tiebreaking goal with 14:20 remaining in the third period to send the San Jose Sharks off on a lengthy trip on a winning note, beating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 on Friday night.
Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle, Justin Braun and Jamie McGinn also scored to help the Sharks avoid losing three straight games in regulation for the first time since October. Brent Burns added three assists.
Antti Niemi made 30 saves to win for the fifth time in eight starts against Chicago since leaving the Blackhawks for San Jose before last season.
Marcus Kruger scored two goals and Bryan Bickell also scored for the Blackhawks, who have lost seven straight games, including the first five on a nine-game trip. Chicago also has lost nine straight road games.
While the Blackhawks are struggling on their longest trip in 18 years, the Sharks are about embark on a long trip of their own. With a tennis tournament and Disney on Ice coming to San Jose, the Sharks head out on a nine-game trip that begins Sunday in St. Louis.
Ferriero made sure they left town on a winning note when he tipped in a pass from Brad Winchester behind the net for his seventh goal of the season. It’s the fifth time Ferriero has scored to give the Sharks the lead, including three in the third period.
McGinn added a power-play goal with 5:56 remaining, San Jose’s third tally with the man advantage against Corey Crawford.
Chicago had overcome a lackluster start to tie the game earlier in the third when Dave Bolland fed Bickell from behind the net to make it 3-3 just over 2 minutes into the third. But the Blackhawks couldn’t close it out and remained winless on the road since Dec. 14 at Minnesota.
Chicago dominated the second period but still trailed after 40 minutes because of an unfortunate bounce. The Sharks were outshot 17-3 in the period but got the go-ahead goal after nearly botching a 2-on-1 chance. Joe Pavelski missed Patrick Marleau on a pass on the odd-man rush but Thornton came up with the puck. His centering pass to Pavelski hit off rookie defenseman Dylan Olsen’s stick and past Crawford to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead with 4:17 left in the second.
Kruger had tied the game with two goals off rebounds earlier in the period, ending a 15-game goal-scoring drought with his first career multigoal game.
The Sharks got off to a fast start after playing sloppily in losing the previous two games by killing three first-period power plays and converting on two of three chances of their own.
The first came early in the period after Michael Frolik was called for a double-minor high-sticking penalty. Braun quickly converted on his 25th birthday. He rushed in from the point and took a backhand pass from Logan Couture behind the net to score his second goal of the season. The pass extended Couture’s point streak to a career-best eight games.
The Blackhawks were short-handed again later in the period after five players were sent off for roughing following a hit from Thornton on Jonathan Toews near the benches. Boyle, who missed Wednesday’s game with an illness, looked just fine as he knocked in a rebound of Couture’s point shot to make it 2-0.
Notes: The Blackhawks were without two starting defenseman as Steve Montador was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and Niklas Hjalmarsson sat out with an upper-body injury. Olsen was recalled from the AHL and Sami Lepisto played for the first time since Jan. 2. … Two of Braun’s four career goals have come against Chicago.
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