Sharks

Sharks

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE -- Things were close between the Sharks and the Blackhawks in their second meeting of the season. But thanks to a boost from some tweaked line combinations and a big third period, San Jose emerged victorious, 5-2.

Here are three takeaways from Sunday’s game:

The line shuffle looked good

We’ve been talking since the trade deadline about Peter DeBoer’s abundance of options for shuffling up his forward lines ever since Gustav Nyquist was added to the lineup. We got the first gander at how much those combos could get shuffled on Sunday, and it looked pretty darn good.

The Sharks’ offense clearly got a boost after Nyquist was bumped up to the top line with Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture. Timo Meier was moved onto Tomas Hertl’s wing opposite Joonas Donskoi, and Kevin Labanc rejoined Joe Thornton and Marcus Sorensen on the third line.

Tim Heed made a statement

No. 72 has gotten ample playing time in the latter part of the season with his fellow countryman Erik Karlsson in and out of the lineup, and he’s been impressive on both ends of the ice to boot. Sunday he put on another strong performance, tallying two primary assists and doing incredible work keeping the puck in the offensive zone.

The bulk of the attention may always go to players like Karlsson and Brent Burns, but Heed has to be given recognition for filling into the lineup as of late. Sunday’s game against Chicago was a good example of what a valuable asset he's become to the team.

 

The penalty kill did its job

Chicago entered Sunday’s game with a red-hot power play, registering goals on the man advantage in 20 of their previous 27 games. So needless to say, San Jose needed to stay out of the penalty box. While the Sharks didn’t play a spotless game, their penalty kill did come up big when Chicago had the opportunity to swing the game in their favor.

Martin Jones deserves a lot of credit for his work on the kill as well. The Blackhawks outshot the Sharks for the majority of Sunday’s game and were visibly more confident when they went on the man advantage. Jones was able to shut the door on the bulk of their chances.