Chicago Blackhawks

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in San Jose's 4-2 win vs. Blackhawks

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in San Jose's 4-2 win vs. Blackhawks


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's return 

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.

[RELATED: Report: Sharks' Kane sued by Las Vegas casino for $500K]

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.

Sharks vs. Blackhawks live stream: How to watch NHL game online


Sharks vs. Blackhawks live stream: How to watch NHL game online

Two struggling teams will meet Tuesday night hoping to turn their seasons around.

The Sharks, who have lost five straight games, host the Chicago Blackhawks at SAP Center. Chicago currently sits at 4-6-3, but the Blackhawks are coming off a win over the Ducks on Sunday.

These two teams met earlier this season, with the Sharks earning a 5-4 win at United Center. Patrick Marleau netted two goals to deliver a win for the Sharks.

[RELATED: Simek's return can help Sharks defensive turnaround]

Here's how to watch Sharks vs. Blackhawks online and on TV:

When: Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. PT
TV Channel: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBCSN

Patrick Marleau depended on Scott Hannan to prepare for Sharks return

Patrick Marleau depended on Scott Hannan to prepare for Sharks return

Patrick Marleau had a storybook beginning to his second go-around with the Sharks.

Two days after signing his contract, he scored two goals in his first game back with the franchise to help San Jose earn its first win of the season Thursday night in Chicago. The last NHL game Marleau had played in prior to that was last April, with no training camp to speak of in between.

So, when he got the call from general manager Doug Wilson, he had to snap into action. Marleau revealed following Thursday's win that there were places he had to get to, but not before getting one last tune-up in. So, naturally, he turned to an old friend for assistance, who he later credited with helping him get prepared.

NBC Sports California's Scott Hannan spent the first eight and final three seasons of his NHL career with the Sharks, all of which included Marleau as a teammate. So, when his longtime friend needed an on-ice partner, Hannan came through in the clutch.

"I think he gives me a little too much credit out there," Hannan said modestly after the Sharks' 5-4 victory. "I've skated with Patty a couple times. Once the [training] camps started, he was finding ice on his own, so it's always good to get another guy out there. 

"I was able to pass him some pucks, feed him some stuff, so I will take a little bit of credit," he continued. "We were working a lot the other day on our tipped shots -- our high tips, our low tips and coming out in the slot -- I don't know if that paid the big dividend."

A quick glance at Marleau's first goal against the Blackhawks would lead one to believe the tipping practice did pay off, as he deflected an Erik Karlsson shot past Chicago's goalkeeper from -- of course -- the slot.

"The game he had tonight was awesome," Hannan said of his former teammate. "Seeing him score two goals, to see that from a guy that I've -- I mean, we've known each other forever. So to see him have that experience out there on the ice was awesome."

As thrilled as Hannan was to have watched Marleau be so successful in his first game back with the Sharks, it's not like he didn't see it coming.

"To be honest, no, I wasn't surprised," Hannan explained. "Knowing Patty for as long as I've known him, it can almost sometimes pay dividends to miss a camp. He's a consummate professional. He kept himself in great shape. He skates so well out there, so you could throw him out there on any team and he's gonna look good. 

"I thought his timing might have been a little off," Hannan admitted, "but obviously not with the way he played tonight. He was a force out there on the backcheck, forecheck, got a couple goals ... I hope we can keep it up."

[RELATED: Sharks elated but not surprised about Marleau's debut]

Marleau has been back for one game, and suddenly, the Sharks are no longer winless. Coincidence?

"I think they play with more confidence," Hannan said of the effect Marleau has on the Sharks' locker room. "They played good in Nashville. They had some moments there and they found a way to lose, whereas tonight they found a way to win." 

San Jose will put the Marleau luck charm to the test next against the Flames in what will be his second-ever home debut as a member of the Sharks.

"On Sunday, I think they're going to be able to feed off that crowd," Hannan predicted. "Patty's going to bring a lot of energy as far as the feelings he's going to have. They have to harness those and put them in the right direction and get a win against Calgary on Sunday."

It would be unreasonable to expect Marleau to score another two goals against the Flames. But you should bring some earplugs just in case.