How it happened: The Blackhawks exploded with a four-goal third period to turn a tight game into an easy win. Patrick Sharp scored twice. Duncan Keith, Brandon Saad, Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa added goals, while Corey Crawford again stood tall in net with 33 saves. The Blackhawks were outplayed for much of the first two periods, getting outshot 26-13. But thanks to timely goals and great goaltending, Chicago never trailed. For the second straight game, the Blackhawks were able to capitalize on the power play, going 2-for-4.
What it means: The win improves Chicago to 41-21-6, and with 88 points the Blackhawks trail St. Louis and Nashville by three points in the Central, with Saturday night action still pending. Chicago sweeps the two-game western road trip. The Blackhawks have points in five straight games and seven of the past eight.
Player of the game: Patrick Sharp. After a scoring drought over Chicago’s past 19 games, Sharp broke out with a pair of goals to lead the Blackhawks. He had the first goal of the game and also converted a power-play goal, thanks in part to the stick of Sharks winger Barclay Goodrow, who deflected his slap shot from out near the blue line.
Play of the game: As the Blackhawks broke out of their end, Sharks defender Mirco Mueller tripped to leave Saad alone for a breakaway that he was able to bury for a 3-2 Chicago lead.
Stat of the game: Sharp ended his 19-game scoring drought with a goal at 6:03 of the first period.
What’s next: The Blackhawks return home to face the New York Islanders on Tuesday. Chicago lost to Long Island 3-2 on Dec. 13 in their only other meeting of the year.