The Blackhawks just figured it was a matter of time before Brandon Saad notched his first goal.
The rookie had been everywhere on the ice lately, charging the net, pushing for that first goal. And on Tuesday, he got it.
Saad scored his first career NHL goal, and the Blackhawks scored three more in a span of 1:29 as they came back to beat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 at HP Pavilion. The Blackhawks, who improved to 8-0-2, remain atop the Western Conference and now have a three-point lead over second-place San Jose.
It was a strange evening ,as the Blackhawks got down 2-0 to start and looked rattled against the quick-starting Sharks. But then Saad broke through, ending his personal scoring drought and unwittingly beginning a scoring barrage between the two teams. The Sharks and Blackhawks tallied four goals total in 89 those seconds, and the Blackhawks had three of them. Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger also scored in that time frame.
“It was just one of those periods when everything was being shot,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “It’s not the start we wanted against the fastest starting team in the league. Getting the response was important. But the guys battled, stuck together and improved as the team progressed.”
And Saad got that goal he’d been working so hard to collect.
“It feels real good,” Saad said. “I had my chances throughout the season and it just finally happened tonight. It’s pretty exciting.”
Patrick Kane scored the game-winner, off a Jonathan Toews takeaway and pass. Kane also added the empty netter with 1:12 remaining in regulation. Corey Crawford stopped 30 of 33 for the victory. Kane said it was good to see Saad get rewarded.
“It was a long time coming for him,” Kane said. “He played great again tonight. He’s fast and gets a lot of chances, especially playing with Johnny and (Marian Hossa). He’s been a great addition and I’m sure we’ll see many more from him. Everyone in here’s happy for him.”
Hawks win battle of NHL's best at the Shark Tank
CSN Chicago | Feb 6