Blackhawks outshoot Sharks, but can't find net in loss

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • San Jose Sharks right wing Timo Meier, right, scores against Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during the second period Sunday at the United Center.

    San Jose Sharks right wing Timo Meier, right, scores against Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during the second period Sunday at the United Center. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/28/2021 9:46 PM

Sometimes you just have to tip your cap -- or your stick in this case -- and give credit where credit's due.

Such was the case after the Blackhawks dropped a 2-0 decision to the San Jose Sharks at the United Center on Sunday.

 

While the Hawks controlled much of the play and could have easily scored 3-4 goals, San Jose received excellent goaltending from James Reimer (29 saves) and also did a marvelous job blocking shots en route to a hard-earned victory.

"Especially at the end, as we started to get desperate and we were trying to shoot everything from up high ... you could see their D-men weren't boxing out in front of their net as much," said Hawks defenseman Connor Murphy. "They were stepping in front of everything."

Mario Ferraro blocked 7 shots, while five of his teammates blocked 3 each.

"They did a good job of clogging it up," said Patrick Kane, who had 5 of his 10 shot attempts blocked. "They have some defensemen that are really good at blocking shots and they did their job tonight."

The Hawks had their chances, especially in the first period when they outshot San Jose 11-4. Kane tried hitting an open Jonathan Toews with 2:45 remaining, but the pass hit a bit too much traffic in front of the net.

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Then with the Hawks (7-12-2) on the power play late in the second period, Dominik Kubalik tried hitting Toews' stick for a redirect, but Toews couldn't get any wood on the pass.

San Jose took the lead when Timo Meier scored at 13:39 of the second period, and the Sharks iced it when Meier scored an empty-netter with 1:31 remaining.

"First period we were all over them," said interim coach Derek King. "We did a real good job managing the puck through the neutral zone. ... Second period, we kind of changed the way we wanted to play and it cost us a little bit and we spent too much time in our zone.

"Third period, we turned it around. For the most part, I think that's one of the best games we've played all year."

The Hawks are 6-3-0 under King but are still struggling in the goal-scoring department (8 in the last five games) and on the power play (1-for-30 in the last 11 games). They went 0-for-2 on the man advantage against the Sharks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Going through training camp and at the beginning of the season we were just so confident, so comfortable on the power play," Kane said. "If you asked me where I thought we would finish, I would say top five for sure."

The loss of Tyler Johnson (neck) has been an issue, but it's also worth noting that Jonathan Toews has yet to score a goal all season. The Hawks' first-unit power play consisted of Kane, Toews, Kubalik, Brandon Hagel and Erik Gustafsson.

"Hopefully we can get it going again and get that confidence like we did in the beginning of the season cuz it was fun to play like that," Kane said. "You had possession, you had options and we were moving it around pretty well."

Marc-Andre Fleury started in net for the Hawks and made 20 saves.

San Jose, which finished with 32 blocked shots, improved to 11-9-1.

The Hawks now have three days off before beginning a three-game road trip in Washington on Thursday. They then play the Rangers and Islanders.

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