Hawks give away 3-0 lead but beat Sharks 4-3 in OT

San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE
– Chicago could not hold onto an early 3-0 lead but regrouped to
take a 4-3 overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks Thursday night
at sold-out HP Pavilion.
San Jose’s one point kept the home team atop the NHL standings
with 79 points, one ahead of the Blackhawks.
SAN JOSE – Chicago could not hold onto an early 3-0 lead but regrouped to take a 4-3 overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks Thursday night at sold-out HP Pavilion.

San Jose’s one point kept the home team atop the NHL standings with 79 points, one ahead of the Blackhawks.

Chicago scored on three of its first six shots on net before the Sharks methodically came back to create a 3-3 tie 4:56 into the third period on Manny Malhotra’s ninth goal of the season.

Chicago entered play with the third-most goals, 174, in the league. San Jose was second with 179. The Blackhawks needed less than nine minutes to fashion a 3-0 lead.

The first two goals were from medium range, Dustin Byfuglien scoring at 5:02, Troy Brouwer 42 seconds later. Byfuglien set up in the high slot and one-timed Patrick Kane’s soft feed past goalie Evgeni Nabokov for the 1-0 Hawk edge. Brouwer’s effective whack from the left circle nudged inside the left post.

Nabokov had little chance to stop Andrew Ladd’s shot from five feet out at the 8:23 mark. Patrick Sharp won an offensive-zone face-off, then worked in front of the Sharks’ crease before feeding an unmarked Ladd for the tap-in.

“We made mental lapses that cost us three goals,” Malhotra said.

San Jose rebounded to trail 3-2 after two periods.

Joe Pavelski scored both San Jose goals in the comeback. The 25-year-old center moved to the edge of the Chicago crease during a 3-on-2 Sharks rush. Marc-Edouard Vlasic slid the puck from the left boards to Pavelski for the quick shot under the pads of goalie Cristobal Huet.

Pavelski’s 14th goal of the campaign came one minute into a power play to make it a 3-2 contest in the second period. Brent Seabrook was whistled for interfering with Dany Heatley at 16:40 of the period. Pavelski and Jason Demers exchanged passes along the Chicago blueline before Pavelski’s long shot deflected off the leg of Chicago’s Marian Hossa and inside the left post.

Heatley earned an assist on Pavelski’s second goal, leaving Heatley with 600 career points.

Malhotra pulled San Jose even when he set up in the slot and tipped Rob Blake’s blast from the right point. The deflection beat Huet and set the stage for the overtime.

The Sharks were able to kill off a late Joe Thornton penalty that ran over into the overtime. Chicago snapped the tie when Brouwer pocketed his second goal of the night, 17th of the campaign. Brouwer controlled the puck through the left circle, then cut across the slot as Kris Versteeg moved to the edge of the crease to screen Nabokov. Brouwer’s slapshot found the high right corner of the net 1:37 into OT.

The Sharks have two home games left before March. Minnesota visits Saturday night and Detroit comes in on Tuesday. San Jose starts a six-game roadtrip Thursday before the Winter Olympics break.

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