Chicago Blackhawks center Dylan Strome (17) scores against San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer, left, at the United Center in Chicago on Thu Apr 14, 2022 (AP News photo)
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks fell 5-4 in a shootout to the Blackhawks in Chicago on Thursday. Patrick Kane, Taylor Raddish, Calvin DeHaan, and Dylan Strome scored for Chicago. Kevin Lankinen made 33 saves for the win. Timo Meier, Scott Reedy, Rudolfs Balcers, and Jaycob Megna scored for San Jose.
James Reimer made 28 saves in the loss. Going into the game, the Sharks had lost seven in a row and the Blackhawks had lost eight in a row. The win was fortuitous, as the game was the last for long-time (39 years) Chicago broadcaster Pat Foley.
After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about missed opportunities in this game and other recent losses. He said he would like to know “how many breakaways we’ve had probably in the last ten games, either five-on-five, short-handed. Shoot-outs, all those situations, you know, two nights ago in Nashville, Tommy Hertl. We missed a few breakaways in Vancouver. So those are golden opportunities to shift the momentum and we haven’t been able to take advantage of that.”
Patrick Kane gave the Blackhawks a lead at 2:03 in a three-on-one attack. Kane, arriving at the side of the net received, the pass from Dylan Strome and tapped the puck over the line. Assists went to Strome and Alex Debrincat.
Timo Meier tied it up at 4:45. Brent Burns took a shot from the point. Tomas Hertl redirected it and it went off of a Chicago defender, bouncing right to Meier, who shot it in off of the far post. Assists went to Hertl and Burns.
Taylor Raddish scored for Chicago on the power play at 13:35 of the second period. Assists went to Seth Jones and Patrick Kane.
Scott Reedy tied it 2-2 at 15:53. Matt Nieto passed the puck to a trailing Reedy who took the shot up the slot through traffic. The puck went in off of the crossbar. Assists went to.
The NHL reviewed a play at 17:14 after the Blackhawks celebrated, thinking they had a goal. But Reimer twisted around to reach for the puck and sweep it out while it was still on the red line. Before play resumed, Nicolas Meloche and Jake McCabe seemed ready to fight but the officials intervened and gave them each four minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Blackhawks scored during the ensuing four-on-four at 18:42. Patrick Kane sent the puck at the net just as Calvin DeHaan was passing in front of the blue paint for a neat redirection. Assists went to Kane and Debrincat.
Dylan Strome made it 4-2 Chicago at 4:45 of the third. Four Blackhawks entered the zone, and four passed the puck across the ice before Strome took the shot from just below the circle. Assists went to Seth Jones and Alex Debrincat.
Rudolfs Balcers cut the lead back down to one with a goal at 5:40. With a scramble going on in front of the Chicago net, Balcers found the puck out front. He took his time to set up and shoot the puck up over the prone goaltender. Assists went to Logan Couture and Erik Karlsson.
Jaycob Megna tied the game at 16:35, after a flurry of shots from the Sharks late in the third. Megna caught a rebound at the bottom of the circle and shot the puck into the far side. Assists went to Meier and Hertl.
After a scoreless overtime, James Reimer saved shots from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, but gave up a goal to Alex Debrincat. Kevin Lankinen stopped shots from Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture and Erik Karlsson.
Alexander Barabanov did not skate after he took a body check early in the first period, but he returned for the second period. Radim Simek also left early the first period, returned for two shifts before the end of the period and then did not return for the second. Matt Nieto sustained an upper-body injury at the end of the second period but returned for the third.
The shot count was close in the first and second periods, 22-20 Sharks. In the third, the Sharks stepped on the gas and out-shot the Blackhawks 13-6. In OT, the Blackhawks had four shots to the Sharks’ one. In the face-off circle, the Sharks took a beating, winning only 36% of the draws.
The Sharks next play on Saturday in Dallas against the Stars at 5:00 PM PT.