After a Sunday afternoon loss that had many fans asking for immediate changes, the Blackhawks got back on track with a solid victory against a hot San Jose Sharks team at home on Sunday night.
In spite of the glaring weaknesses exposed by the Red Wings, the Blackhawks have successfully earned seven of eight possible points since Patrick Sharp left the lineup.
And on Sunday night, it was the same names filling the stat sheet that have consistently stepped up since Sharp was hurt. Viktor Stalberg, Dave Bolland, Jonathan Toews and rookie Andrew Shaw scored for the Hawks as they took an early lead and hung on for the regulation victory.
For Shaw, it was his fourth goal in only seven games in the NHL. For Bolland, it was his fourth in his last four games. For Stalberg, it was his fifth in four games. And for Toews, it was his 24th on the season, which is tied for second in the NHL.
Assists were credited to Andrew Brunette, rookie Jimmy Hayes, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Marcus Kruger, Nick Leddy, Stalberg and Toews. Only Toews and Stalberg had multi-point games against the Sharks. Shaw was also tied with Kruger and Jamal Mayers with three hits on the night. Mayers was exceptional at the dot, winning seven of nine faceoff opportunities.
If not for 30 seconds early in the second period, the Blackhawks dominated every aspect of the game. San Jose scored their first two goals to tie the game in a span of 26 seconds, but were held to only eight shots in all three periods for a game total of 24, or only three more than Detroit had in the first period alone on Saturday.
The Hawks had to kill off a penalty in the final minute of the game, but were able to stay perfect against all three Sharks’ power plays on the night.