Hawks Make History: Sharks Fall 2-1 in Chicago
The Chicago Blackhawks made NHL history Friday night in Chicago, successfully starting their season 17 games without a regulation loss, topping the Anaheim Ducks 2006-07 record of 12-0-4.
The Blackhawks now, 14-0-3, send the Sharks on to end their 6 game road trip with a 2-1 loss, making this the 8th flounder for the San Jose team this month.
Ray Emery, making his fourth consecutive start for the Blackhawks, with a healthy Crawford finally in the wings, made 26 saves and is now 7-0-0, tied for wins with his counterpart.
A healthy Marian Hossa and Dan Carcillo made return appearances to the MadHouse ice. Hossa, cleared for any injury he sustained after the hit to the back of s head by Jannik Hansen on Tuesday night looked to be in good form. This San Jose game was the first game back for Carcillo after missing the last 15 with a lower body injury. Carcillo started on the fourth line alongside Frolik and Kruger.
The first 20 minutes of play went by with a bit of a snore. While the Blackhawks led shots on goal 11-8 and Dan Carcillo was being anything but shy getting in his first hits since the season opener, the Sharks were the first to put a point on the board. Leading San Jose goal scorer, Patrick Marleau’s shot off a rebound was able to sneak its way under Emery’s left pad with only 14.2 seconds left in the period to make it 1-0.
The Blackhawks were finally able to get the equalizer late in the second via Viktor Stalberg knocking the puck off Niemi’s left pad through the five hole. Aside from a back and forth PP to PK shuffle, the Blackhawks made it through the period relatively unscathed amidst Coach Q’s line switch ups.
Carcillo moved up from the fourth line briefly at the top of the period taking his usual spot alongside Toews and Hossa, sending Saad down to the second with Kane and Bolland. But by the end of the period Saad was back between 81 and 19.
Chicago started the final 20 minutes on the PK. Undeterred, rookie Brandon Saad scored his third goal of the season short handed to make it 2-1 Hawks. Unwilling to make the win easy for themselves, the Hawks sent themselves to another penalty kill shortly following Saad’s goal and again in the last 8 seconds with an empty Sharks goal for a nasty hit by Shaw.
The undefeated Blackhawks will round out their home game stretch against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers this weekend before ending the month with the St. Louis Blues.
(This post appeared previously on thecheckingline.com)