CHICAGO – The Blackhawks’ big-name scorers continue to spark Chicago’s climb in the Western Conference standings.
Marian Hossa scored two power-play goals less than three minutes apart to ignite a five-goal outburst in the second period, and the Blackhawks rolled to a 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each had a goal and an assist in the second as defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago snapped an 0-1-2 streak and moved into fourth place in the West with 84 points.
Kane’s goal was the 100th of his career and capped Chicago’s second-period scoring blitz that erased an early 2-1 deficit.
“The first period wasn’t our best,” Hossa said. “We settled down, tried to play our game. We started working as a team, and were closer to pucks, outbattling them.
“We’re slowly climbing up, getting a cushion now (in the standings),” Hossa said. “Obviously, it’s going to be tough to the end.”
Hossa’s goals were his 20th and 21st, giving him 20 or more in 11 straight seasons. He has points in 10 of his last 11 games, with nine goals and six assists in that span.
Toews now has 71 points, a career high for the fourth-year forward. He has recorded points in 12 of his last 13 games, with 11 goals and 10 assists during the run.
All of Chicago’s marquee forwards clicked on Monday, including Patrick Sharp, who had a career-high four assists. Viktor Stalberg and Niklas Hjalmarsson also scored for the Blackhawks, who improved to 11-2-4 in their last 17 games.
“The five goals really put us in front,” Kane said. “There were a lot of really nice plays. I thought we bounced back pretty good.”
Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks, who lost in regulation for just the fourth time in their last 25 games.
“If I was going to sum up the game: They skated and we glided,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “They were hard on the boards, we were soft. They were determined at the net. We played ‘I hope’ around the net.
“We were looking for a win the easy way. I don’t know why we chose that route tonight, but it’s not the recipe we’ve followed for success.”
Chicago rookie Corey Crawford made 33 saves in his 15th straight start.
San Jose’s Antti Niemi made his 25th consecutive start, but was replaced by Antero Niittymaki at 7:25 of the second after allowing four goals on 18 shots, and three goals on the last five he faced. Niittymaki stopped 14 of 16 shots.
Pavelski opened the scoring 2:20 in with a 5-on-3 power-play goal from the right circle, but Stalberg evened it midway through the first when he batted in a rebound of Chris Campoli’s shot from mid-air.
Thornton put the Sharks ahead 2-1 with 1:24 left in the first. Campoli and Troy Brouwer both converged on San Jose’s Patrick Marleau, and Marleau dished to Thornton, who broke in alone down the slot.
The Blackhawks then reeled off four straight goals, and five overall in the second, to take a 6-3 lead after 40 minutes.
Chicago launched its onslaught when Hossa scored back-to-back power-play goals and Toews added an even-strength score in a 4:11 span early in the second.
Hossa tied it 2-all 3:14 into the period when he cut to the edge of the crease and converted Sharp’s feed. Just under three minutes later, Hossa put the Blackhawks ahead 3-2 on a low shot from the slot.
Toews finished a 2-on-1 with Kane by shooting himself, beating Niemi through the five-hole at 7:25 to make it 4-2. That prompted San Jose coach Todd McLellan to send in Niittymaki.
Chicago kept up the pressure and took a 5-2 lead with 5:31 left in the period when Hjalmarsson fired in a shot through traffic from the slot.
Couture popped in a rebound off Crawford’s pad with 2:36 left in the second to cut it to 5-3, but Kane replied just 22 seconds later when he was left open in the slot.
“(The second period) dictated the outcome of the game, so it was good for us,” Toews said. “Especially when they made it 5-3, we came right back and got the sixth goal.”
Notes: Chicago’s five goals in the second were the most in a period for the Blackhawks this season, and the most against San Jose in a period this year…. Sharp tied a team record with four assists in one period. The last Blackhawks player to do it was Jim Pappin in 1973. .. Chicago D Brian Campbell missed his second game in the last three with a lower body injury. … Blackhawks C Dave Bolland sat out his second contest with a concussion. … San Jose D Kent Huskins and C Scott Nichol each missed their 10th game with upper-body injuries.