Sharks 6, Blackhawks 5
Costly penalties and a sub-par special teams unit cost the Blackhawks a victory for the second straight game on Sunday, falling to the San Jose Sharks 6-5. Up 5-4 going into the third period, the Hawks gave up two unanswered power play goals, including the game-winning score by Devin Setoguchi. The loss marks the first time this season the Blackhawks haven’t earned at least one point on home ice.
“We gave them some goals,” said Brian Campbell
, who had three points (G, 2 A) in the loss. “It’s pretty frustrating. We’ve given away a couple of points in our last few games and we’re not happy about it. That was why tonight’s game was so important.”
The Sharks went ahead 42 seconds into the game on a goal by Milan Michalek, but the Hawks and Sharks alternated scores through the rest of the period, as Kris Versteeg, Joe Thornton and Campbell all got on the scoresheet.
The Hawks eventually fought their way to a 5-4 lead in the second on tallies by Versteeg, Cam Barker and Patrick Kane
. However, the Sharks’ special teams proved to be too much down the stretch, grabbing two power play goals by Dan Boyle and Setoguchi to seal the win.
The Sharks' power play was 4-for-6 on the night.
“We had a lead [in the third period] and we took a penalty on our first shift,” said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. “That got us in trouble when they scored right off the bat. They were excited and got the momentum back. We can’t take some of the penalties we took tonight.”
Though San Jose currently leads the Western Conference in points, Quenneville doesn’t take solace in staying close throughout the game because the Hawks could have won the contest.
“We should be upset,” he said. “I’m not happy at all about the way this ended. They’re a good team, [but] we had them where we wanted them and let them off the hook. You’ve got to play a complete game against good teams.”
The Hawks will play their next six games on the road, where they have just one win in five chances. Quenneville and Campbell see this two-week trip as a chance for the Hawks to prove themselves in hostile environments.
“We’ve got to be road warriors,” said Campbell. “You have to win on the road to make the playoffs. Obviously, we’re not .500 [on the road] yet. This is kind of our first 'road trip' of the season; we can gel together a bit more and really go after it.”
“I think we’ll learn a lot,” said Quenneville. “I know we’ve got some meaningful game and we’ll want to make sure that we’re consistent in how we play and compete. It will be a good measuring stick.”
Phoenix will be the Hawks’ first stop on their trip, visiting the Coyotes on Tuesday.
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