Sharks beat Blackhawks 2-1 in shootout

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 2, 2014 at 1:04 am •  Published: February 2, 2014
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Just over a minute later, Saad answered late in the power play after Justin Braun failed to clear the puck from the defensive zone. Kris Versteeg fed Saad, who beat Niemi for his 18th goal. That was Chicago's third power-play goal in two games after having just one the previous seven.

Crawford kept the game tied when he made a pad save at the goal line on a one-timer by Stuart, and the Blackhawks killed a late penalty to force overtime. San Jose is 0-for-16 on the power play the past six games.

The game was scoreless after two periods despite both teams getting quality scoring chances but were unable to get past either Niemi or Crawford.

Kane hit a post early in the first period for Chicago, and Dan Boyle got robbed by the crossbar later in the first for San Jose.

Niemi made a strong pad save to rob Ben Smith in the first period and withstood a couple of frantic flurries near his net in the second. Niemi also was helped when Marian Hossa missed the net off a nice setup by Saad during a power play late in the second period.

The Sharks put 22 shots on net against Crawford in the first two periods, generating heavy pressure during a second period power play for too many men on the ice. But Crawford was up to the task. San Jose was attacking at the end of the second, and Marleau had a prime chance when he batted a puck from midair in the slot toward the net in the closing seconds.

"It was a playoff type atmosphere," Versteeg said. "Time and space were virtually non-existent and that's when you need to play smart."

NOTES: Jason Demers, who leads San Jose defenseman with 24 points, was scratched with a lower-body injury. ... Chicago F Michal Handzus returned to San Jose for the first time since being dealt to the Blackhawks last March. ... The Sharks reassigned F John McCarthy to Worcester of the AHL after he cleared waivers.