For the second time this season, the Sharks faced off against the Blackhawks looking to snap a losing streak. And for a second time, they were able to put a tally in the win column.
San Jose put a much better effort on the ice than it did in its previous contest, although things got pretty interesting right at the end. Nevertheless, the Sharks snapped a season-long five-game losing streak and defeated Chicago, 4-2.
Here are three takeaways from Tuesday's game.
New lines, new mojo
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer threw the lines in a blender ahead of Tuesday's game in an effort to give the offense a boost. While the goals didn't come in droves, San Jose's offensive play definitely looked improved. Sure, the Blackhawks aren't very good, but the Sharks did a much better job of maintaining puck possession and keeping the visitors on their heels.
The top two lines looked especially good, with centers Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl establishing the tone of the game. But the third line of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Marcus Sorensen also had several productive shifts -- not bad for a line with two 40-year-olds on it. The fourth line didn't get anything going, but with players out with injuries, that group could get an upgrade in the not-too-distant future.
Radim Simek looked a wee bit rusty on his first few shifts since tearing his ACL and MCL on March 12, but he cleaned things up pretty quickly and had a positive impact on San Jose's game. He even had a nice block late that prevented a possible goal for Chicago.
Simek's return beefed up the depth on San Jose's blue line. Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Erik Karlsson reunited with positive results, and Brenden Dillon and rookie Mario Ferraro combined to set up Evander Kane's short-handed goal in the second period.
One player might not change an entire team, but Simek's presence clearly gives San Jose a better chance of winning.
Just one more stop
One issue that plagued the Sharks throughout their losing streak was that Martin Jones wasn't making enough timely saves. It certainly doomed them last week when the Winnipeg Jets buried the game-winning goal with less than two minutes remaining in the contest.
On Tuesday, Jones was much better -- well, until when he allowed two goals in just over a minute late in regulation. while the Sharks managed to pull out the win, the goaltending still needs to improve.