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Sharks knock off Blackhawks, 3-2

Published: Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9:54 p.m.

CHICAGO — Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski scored in a shootout, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Blackhawks 3-2 on Sunday night for their first victory in Chicago in three years.

Alex Stalock made 33 saves through overtime as San Jose bounced back from a 4-3 loss at Colorado on Saturday. Jason Demers scored in the first period and Brett Burns had a tying goal in the third.

Couture beat Corey Crawford with a shot into the right side of the net after Stalock stopped Chicago captain Jonathan Toews leading off the shootout. Patrick Sharp then shot wide before Pavelski scored to give the Sharks their first win at the United Center since a 5-3 victory on Dec. 30, 2010.

Crawford made 40 saves in his first home start since he left Chicago’s 6-2 victory over Florida on Dec. 8 because of a lower-body injury. He came back on Thursday and stopped 31 shots in a 3-2 overtime loss at the New York Islanders.

Defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Michal Rozsival scored in the third period for the Blackhawks, who have earned at least one point in their past 10 games. The defending Stanley Cup champions had won four of six.

San Jose trailed 2-1 before Joe Thornton made a great pass across the crease to Burns, who slammed the puck in at 11:10 of the third. Thornton has 12 assists during an eight-game point streak, running his NHL-best total to 43 on the season.

San Jose had dropped six consecutive games in Chicago by a combined score of 24-11, including a 5-1 loss on Nov. 17. The Sharks and Blackhawks are two of the top teams in the Western Conference.

The Blackhawks had few quality scoring chances in the first two periods, with most of their shots coming from the outside on each side.

Stalock grabbed most of them cleanly, and San Jose swept away any potential problems around the net.

Stalock had a little trouble with a shot by Duncan Keith with 8½ minutes left in the second, but he fell on the puck before Andrew Shaw could get a stick on it for Chicago.

The NHL’s highest-scoring team appeared to be headed for its first shutout of the season before two unlikely players combined to put the Blackhawks in front.

First, Hjalmarsson skated toward the middle of the ice, got a pass from Jonathan Toews and beat Stalock at 1:27 of the third. Then Rozsival’s long slap shot through traffic made it 2-1 just 2:34 after Hjalmarsson’s fourth goal.

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