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Sunday, November 17, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 5, Sharks 1

By Scott Powers


CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks at the United Center on Sunday.

How it happened: In a matchup between two of the Western Conference’s top teams, the Blackhawks pulled away from the Sharks in the latter half of the game. With the game tied at 1-1, Patrick Sharp one-timed a cross-ice pass from Marcus Kruger and put the Blackhawks ahead 2-1 at 12:08 of the second period. Jonathan Toews gave the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead when he cleaned up his own rebound at 3:39 of the third period. Kris Versteeg added the fourth goal in his first game back in Chicago since being traded for on Thursday. Sharp finalized the score with a goal on a penalty shot with 1:11 left. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 23 saves. The Sharks scored their lone goal when Joe Pavelski handcuffed Crawford on a shot, and Crawford accidentally slid the puck into his own net.

What it means: The Blackhawks bounced back in a big way from their worst defeat of the season, a 7-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday. The Blackhawks were sharper on both ends of the ice Sunday and were so against one of the league’s best offensive and defensive teams. The Sharks came into the game ranked first in goals for at 3.5 per game and fourth in goals against at 2.1 per game. The Blackhawks improved to 14-3-4, and the Sharks fell to 13-3-5.

Crawford allowed one of his softer goals of the season but was solid most of the night. He was appearing in his 11th consecutive game. Brandon Pirri and Patrick Kane continued their hot streaks. Pirri has scored in three consecutive games, and Kane has produced a point in seven consecutive games.

Player of the game: Sharp was the lone Blackhawk with a plus-four rating. He had two goals and an assist in the win. He has seven goals and 13 assists in 21 games this season.

Stat of the game: Andrew Shaw led the Blackhawks with seven hits.

What’s next: The Blackhawks begin a seven-game road trip on Tuesday. They will be on the road until Nov. 30. Their next home game will be on Dec. 3.