Sharks beat Blackhawks for 4th straight win; Crawford hurt
Melker Karlsson, Evander Kane, Kevin Labanc, Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture each had a goal and an assist, and the Sharks rallied to beat the Blackhawks 7-3 on Sunday night for their fourth straight victory.
Marcus Sorensen and Barclay Goodrow also scored for the Sharks, who had three unanswered goals in the second period to take charge after starting goalie Martin Jones allowed three goals on Chicago’s first four shots. Brent Burns had three assists for San Jose, which has won six of seven and climbed into a tie with Anaheim for second in the Pacific Division.
“There’s a lot of guys who played with confidence,” Couture said. “Take away the start, and we played a very, very good game.”
Chicago goalie Corey Crawford left the game with 1:30 left in the first period after the back of his head struck the right post during a goalmouth pileup. He allowed two goals on eight shots and exited with the Blackhawks leading 3-2.
Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton said Crawford was diagnosed with a concussion.
“So he’ll be under the protocol and we’ll go from there,” Colliton said.
“I didn’t talk to him, but of course we’re concerned. I think a concussion is a concussion. Every concussion is different, so we’ll see.”
Aaron Dell replaced Jones late in the first and blocked all 16 shots he faced.
“That’s one that could have gone off the rails pretty easy,” San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. “I thought we had a lot of composure on the bench.
“There wasn’t a panic to it, even when we were down. We stuck with it. Deller came in and gave us some big saves when he needed to.”
Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini scored in the first period for last-place Chicago, which lost for the 10th time in its last 11 games despite grabbing a quick 2-0 lead. Cam Ward replaced Crawford and gave up five goals on 35 shots.
The 33-year-old Crawford was pulled from a Dec. 23, 2017, game at New Jersey with a concussion, then missed the remainder of the 2017-18 season and the first five games of 2018-19. He returned on Oct. 18 against Arizona and is 6-14-2 with a 3.28 goals-against average in 23 games.
“A great goaltender, a great guy, and important part of the team,” Colliton said. “We hope for a quick recovery.”
The Blackhawks opened the scoring for only the second time in their last 13 games and led 3-2 after one period. Opponents had outscored Chicago 27-8 in the first period during that span.
The Blackhawks scored on their first two shots, 47 seconds apart early in the first period.
DeBrincat opened the scoring 2:34 in and Strome made it 2-0 from the slot on a deflection of Connor Murphy’s shot.
The Sharks tied it 2-all midway through the first on goals 42 seconds apart by Karlsson and Sorensen.
Perlini put Chicago back in front at 12:54 on a rebound after Dylan Sikura broke in and was stopped by Jones. Dell replaced Jones at the start of a penalty to San Jose’s Brenden Dillon a minute later.
Crawford was injured with 90 seconds left in the first.
Crawford had just made a pad save on Couture, who had broken in off the wing. As Couture cut across the crease, Strome tried to cut him off and slashed him.
At the same moment, Kane plowed into Strome from behind and Strome tumbled into Crawford, forcing the goalie into the goalpost. Kane was assessed a minor penalty for goaltender interference.
The Sharks scored three times on 14 shots against Ward in the second period to take a 5-3 lead. But Crawford’s exit had nothing to do with the surge, Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith said.
“They picked it up a notch and we weren’t able to match that at all,” Keith said. “You never want to see (an injury), but we have to keep playing. Nothing should change.”
Kane tied it 3-all at 4:21 of the period with a power-play goal, firing in a rebound of Brett Burns’ shot from the points.
Goodrow put San Jose ahead 4-3 at 7:36 with a midair deflection of Justin Braun’s drive from the top of the slot. Couture made it 5-3 with 3:44 left in the second when Dillon’s shot from the point struck the shaft of his stick and flipped past Ward.
Labanc scored on wrist shot from the circle with 6:57 left and Hertl completed the scoring with 1:33 remaining.
NOTES: Crawford’s 14 losses are the most in the league. . Labanc the game early in the second period after being hit in the face by a stick, but returned. … Blackhawks C Artem Anisimov (concussion protocol) missed his second game. He suffered the injury in the third period of Wednesday’s 6-3 win over Pittsburgh. … Chicago D Gustav Forsling (shoulder) and D Brandon Davidson (knee) have resumed skating.
Sharks: At Minnesota on Tuesday.
Blackhawks: Host Nashville on Tuesday.