After playing four games in less than a week, the Chicago Blackhawks have finished the long road with a flourish as they beat the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night by a 4-1 margin.
The Blackhawks trailed early in the game, but third period goals from Ryan Hartman and Vincent Hinostroza guided them to their fifth consecutive victory and an emphatic one at that over the defending Western Conference champions.
Duncan Keith also scored for the Blackhawks as he tallied his first goal of the season, and Patrick Kane added an empty net goal for good measure to seal the victory. Joe Pavelski scored the lone goal of the game for the Sharks as their four game winning streak came to an end.
The teams failed to notch a goal in the first period, but the Sharks got on the board first in the second period. After an aggressive puck cycle at the blue line, Brent Burns fired a shot wide of the net, but Pavelski got a stick on it and deflected it past Scott Darling to put the Sharks ahead 1-0.
Late in the second period, the Blackhawks finally found their offensive footing and they knotted things up. After making a good play at the point to keep the puck in the zone, Keith received a pass from Artemi Panarin and rifled a slap shot home to knot things up at 1-1.
With 12 minutes to go in the game, the Blackhawks used a face-off win by Vincent Hinostroza to take the lead. The rookie center pushed the puck out of the face-off dot, and Hartman flipped a wrist shot through Martin Jones to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 edge.
After a furious Sharks' comeback attempt was stymied by Darling, his teammates rewarded him with two more goals to seal the game. Hinostroza got his second point of the night as he scored on a 2-on-1 break to make it 3-1, and Kane added an empty netter in the closing seconds to give the Blackhawks yet another victory on home ice.
The Blackhawks won't get much time to rest unfortunately, as they will once again be on the ice Tuesday night when they welcome the Ottawa Senators to the United Center.