Chicago, IL – The Chicago Blackhawks made NHL history Friday night, becoming the first team to record at least one point in 17 straight games to start a season with a 2-1 win over San Jose at the United Center.
Rookie Brandon Saad scored a shorthanded, go-ahead goal early in the third period for the Blackhawks, who, at 14-0-3, surpassed the Anaheim Ducks' 16- game run without a regulation loss at the outset of the 2006-07 campaign.
"We're getting key contributions from a lot of different players. Having that depth makes it a lot easier," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "It's a group effort."
Ray Emery made 26 saves for a Chicago club that welcomed two players back into the lineup and played with Marian Hossa, who left Tuesday's game against Vancouver after taking a blow to the head from the Canucks' Jannik Hansen, an incident that resulted in Hansen receiving a one-game suspension.
Defenseman Brent Seabrook returned from a one-game absence due to a lower-body injury, while forward Daniel Carcillo suited up for the first time since sustaining a knee injury in the season opener.
Antti Niemi stopped 32 shots for the Sharks, who fell to 1-5-3 following their 7-0-0 start to the season.
With the Blackhawks down 1-0, Viktor Stalberg skated down the left wing and fired a shot through Niemi's legs from below the icing line with 3:20 left in the second period.
The Sharks got an early power play after the intermission as Seabrook went off for tripping. With the man advantage winding down, Saad snapped a shot from the faceoff dot in the left circle that sailed past Niemi's glove at 2:24.
San Jose went back on the power play three minutes later, but Emery had all the answers, finishing with 13 saves in the final frame.
"We knew they were going to have a push back," Sharks center Joe Thornton said. "We tip our hats to them."
Late in the first period, the Sharks were able to get a puck past the Chicago netminder. Patrick Marleau lit the lamp with 14.2 seconds remaining on a shot that crept across the goal line.
Patrick Kane picked up an assist on Stalberg's tally, giving him at least a point in 15 of 17 games this season ... The Sharks have dropped five straight in Chicago ... San Jose forward Logan Couture played in his 200th NHL game.