Sharks-Blackhawks Preview

Amid the boos of his hometown crowd, Patrick Kane steadily went about the business of extending his new baby streak.

Back on home ice, the Chicago Blackhawks hope to extend their mini-run when the San Jose Sharks visit United Center on Sunday night.

Chicago (19-11-4) opened its back-to-back set Saturday night with a 3-2 shootout win at Buffalo, the Blackhawks' second straight victory and sixth in the last eight games. The latest win was keyed by Kane's tying goal with 34 seconds left in regulation and his shootout winner – both drowned out by the boos of the Buffalo crowd.

It was Kane's first trip to his hometown since an August investigation into a rape allegation for which he was never charged.

Four days after his two-month point streak ended at 26 games, Kane logged points in his second consecutive contest this week. His 20th goal gave him at least that many in all nine seasons of his career.

“What he was going through, it's very remarkable,” coach Joel Quenneville said before the game of Kane's focus. “I commend him on how he's handled the whole situation coming into the season. His mind was in the right place, focused, game in, game out.”

While Kane has continued his hot play after the streak ended, Corey Crawford has been lights out in net, winning six times with a 0.85 goals-against average and three shutouts in his last seven starts. As has been the case in each of Chicago's other seven back-to-back sets, however, backup Scott Darling is in line to make Sunday's start.

Darling is 0-1-1 in his last two outings, allowing seven goals with a 3.51 GAA and .899 save percentage. The Blackhawks are 3-3-1 in the second of back-to-backs this season and 2-2-1 with Darling in net.

Chicago, which is 13-4-1 at home, has won the last two in this series and three of the last four. The most recent victory was a 5-2 win Nov. 25 at San Jose in which Kane had two assists and five different Chicago players scored.

The Blackhawks are 7-0-1 against the Sharks in Chicago since March 14, 2011.

San Jose (16-15-1) is one of six NHL teams with double-digit wins on the road at 12-6-1, but is just 2-3-1 away from home since Dec. 4.

The Sharks opened a five-game trip with a pair of wins but lost 4-2 at Ottawa on Friday. One day after matching a season high in goals with a 5-4 win at Toronto, San Jose didn't manage much on 33 shots.

The first three games of the road swing, which opened with Tuesday's 3-1 win at Montreal, were played in four days and followed a 1-6-1 skid.

“I thought considering the circumstances, traveling, three in four nights and back-to-back, we came out and gave a pretty good effort,” coach Pete DeBoer told the team's official website.

Alex Stalock made 31 saves, but starter Martin Jones will be back in net for this one. Jones lost while making 21 saves in the first matchup against Chicago, and he dropped his only other start versus the Blackhawks in 2013 despite allowing just one goal on 30 shots.