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Blackhawks go on the offensive in victory over Sharks

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 9:58 a.m. CST

(Continued from Page 1)

(MCT) — SAN JOSE, Calif. — Two of the NHL’s stingiest teams when it comes to allowing goals took the ice Tuesday night at HP Pavilion.

Naturally, an onslaught of scoring immediately took place.

When the dust settled, the Blackhawks had slugged their way to a 5-3 victory over the Sharks.

The teams combined for six goals in the opening period — including four within a span of 1 minute, 29 seconds — after entering the game with the Sharks tied for No. 1 in the league in goals-against (1.62 per game) and the Hawks third (2.00).

Patrick Kane had two goals, Marcus Kruger a goal and an assist and Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw also scored while Corey Crawford did enough in goal to help the Hawks remain unbeaten in regulation and improve their record to 8-0-2. They also upped their mark on their current season-high, six-game trip to 2-0-2 and overall road mark to 6-0-2.

Jonathan Toews added two assists for the Hawks, who got the better of former teammate Antti Niemi in goal for the Sharks.

Joe Pavelski, Tommy Wingels and Michal Handzus scored for the Sharks, but San Jose fell for the second consecutive night.

The Sharks started the scoring 2:53 into the game when Pavelski knocked a rebound of a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot out of mid-air past Crawford.

Wingels made it 2-0 at 5:18 when the Evanston native rifled a shot from the left circle that appeared to deflect off Hawks defenseman Nick Leddy and sailed past Crawford.

Then the goal insanity began. First, Saad scored his first in the NHL when he took a pass from Brent Seabrook and one-timed a shot from near the right post past Niemi. It took 39 seconds before Handzus put the Sharks up 3-1 with a shot from the left circle that beat Crawford to the stick side.

The crowd of 17,562 was still buzzing when Shaw took a pass from Bryan Bickell and scored from the slot eight seconds later. The Hawks weren’t done yet as just another 42 seconds elapsed before Kruger scooped up a turnover by Sharks defenseman Justin Braun in front of Niemi and found the back of the net.

The second period was fairly eventful as well, highlighted by a huge open-ice hit by the Sharks’ Andrew Desjardins on the Hawks’ Jamal Mayers. Desjardins leveled Mayers and was immediately confronted by Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith. The two dropped the gloves before order was eventually restored.

Desjardins was assessed a fighting major and a match penalty for hitting Mayers in the head. Keith amassed 19 minutes in penalties for defending his teammate.

Just over three minutes later, the Hawks took the lead after an outstanding defensive play by Jonathan Toews. The captain stripped Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray of the puck, found an open Kane and hit him with a pass. Kane delivered into the open net as Niemi scrambled to get back in position.

Kane added an empty-netter at 18:48 of the third period.

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