The Blackhawks and Sharks have developed a sometimes-heated rivalry the last few seasons as two of the Western Conference's top teams.

When they face off against each other Friday night at the United Center, a pair of friendly foes will go head-to-head. During the NHL lockout, the Hawks' Patrick Kane and Sharks' Joe Thornton were teammates for a week on HC Davos during the Spengler Cup and a friendship was formed.

"(Thornton's) really a good guy," Kane said following practice Thursday at the United Center. "I enjoyed my time with him. You gain a lot of respect just playing with a guy like that."

Kane leads the Hawks in scoring with nine goals and 11 assists and Thornton shares the top spot on the Sharks with three goals and 12 assists.

"Everyone talks about how good he is as a passer and that's obviously true, but one of the things with him is he can score goals too," Kane said. "He's kind of like a big kid playing hockey out there.

"We talked about a lot of different things, from hockey to living in Chicago and San Jose," Kane added. "It was definitely a good relationship over that week."

Hanging in: Patrick Sharp's goal-less skid stands at nine games but the veteran isn't letting the drought affect him mentally.

"It doesn't matter," Sharp said. "I'm still producing offensively at the same clip as I normally do. It's just Kane is doing the scoring and I'm getting the assists instead of the other way around. And the team is winning. If we were losing it would be a different story."