The Chicago Blackhawks had four different leads during their home opener on Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks, but each time the visiting squad came back, ultimately capturing a 5-4 victory at the United Center.
Patrick Marleau, playing his first game after signing a contract to return to the Sharks, scored a pair of goals for San Jose. Barclay Goodrow scored the game-winning tally in the third period, and goaltender Aaron Dell stopped a flurry of late shots in the closing seconds to prevent the Blackhawks from tying up the contest.
In his first home game since rejoining the Blackhawks in an offseason trade, Andrew Shaw made a loud statement with two goals in the losing effort. Dominik Kubalik scored his first career goal and Dylan Strome scored his first goal of the season for the Blackhawks, who dropped to 0-2-0 on the season.
The Blackhawks got the scoring started early in the first period on a strong shift from their third line. After Kubalik and David Kampf both got chances from in close, the puck eventually found its way back onto Kubalik’s stick, and the rookie fired home a shot to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 edge.
After Kevin Labanc scored to tie the game later in the frame, the Blackhawks took the lead back on a Shaw goal with six and a half minutes to go in the period. Olli Maatta slapped a low shot toward Dell, and when the netminder gave up a rebound, Shaw was there to eventually pound home the puck to put Chicago back in front by a 2-1 margin.
Marleau scored a power play goal with 17 seconds left in the period to tie things at 2-2, and it took the Blackhawks nearly 10 minutes to score again. Shaw potted his second goal of the evening off of a great feed from Alex DeBrincat, firing home a one-timer and giving Chicago a 3-2 advantage.
Brent Burns scored a goal just 33 seconds later to tie things up, but even that tie was short-lived as the furious scoring pace continued. On an odd-man rush, Patrick Kane and Strome played a game of catch with the puck, and ultimately Strome’s shot found paydirt to give the Blackhawks back the lead.
Unfortunately for Chicago, the Sharks just wouldn’t go away, and Marleau scored a goal with two minutes remaining in the period to tie things up at 4-4 after 40 minutes of action.
After the frenetic first two periods, the scoring pace slowed in the third, but the Sharks were still able to take the lead as Goodrow skated uncontested toward the Blackhawks’ net and deposited a pass from Joe Thornton into the back of the cage for a 5-4 lead that the Sharks would never relinquish.
The Blackhawks will next take the ice on Saturday night when they welcome the Winnipeg Jets to the United Center. The puck drop is set for 6 p.m.