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Friday’s result: Blackhawks 4, Sharks 1

Chicago Blackhawks Vs San Jose Sharks. San Jose Sharks No.19 Joe Thorntlands punch face  Chicago Blackhawks No.19 Jonathan Toews.

Chicago Blackhawks Vs San Jose Sharks. San Jose Sharks No.19 Joe Thornton lands a punch to the face of Chicago Blackhawks No.19 Jonathan Toews. February 15 , 2013 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: February 15, 2013 10:08PM



Jonathan Toews sent Joe Thornton crashing face-first to the ice along

the boards in the corner in the first period Friday night. But that

just wasn’t enough for the Blackhawks captain. He shoved Thornton in

the back as he got up. Then he did it again. And again.

Then Toews — who has a history with Thornton, dating back to

Thornton’s rabbit punch last Feb. 10 in San Jose — followed Thornton

to the opposite corner and shoved him in the chest, face-to-face. Then

he did it again. And again. Seven times in all, blatantly goading

Thornton to drop the gloves, which the Sharks captain finally did in

one of the NHL’s more star-studded fights in recent memory.

And because this is the Hawks, and this is 2013, where it seems they

can do no wrong, it all worked out just fine.

The Hawks killed off the double-minor assessed to Toews on top of the

fighting major, then quickly scored, then went on to beat the Sharks

4-1 to extend their point streak to 14 games (11-0-3), two off the

record to start a season. It was the Sharks’ seventh straight loss

after a 7-0 start.

Toews was fortunate to get away with just a boarding minor and an

unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for fighting with a visor on. He could

have — and probably should have — received an instigator penalty,

which carries with it a 10-minute misconduct. Instead, the Hawks

gained momentum off the fight — as they did last week in Phoenix when

Jamal Mayers fought Raffi Torres — as Dave Bolland put in his own

rebound at 19:16 of the first, during 4-on-4 action at the tail end of

Toews’ double-minor.

The unlikely fight set the stage for an unusual evening, one that saw

Marcus Kruger essentially get an assist on his own goal, San Jose’s

Joe Pavelski knock in an Andrew Shaw rebound for another goal, and

another Hawks star — Patrick Sharp — make an (unrequited) offer to

drop the gloves. About the only normal thing about the game was the

fact that the Hawks got points out of it — two, this time, after a

disappointing shootout loss to Anaheim at the United Center on

Tuesday.

First, Kruger made it 2-0 Hawks three minutes into the second period

when the choppy United Center ice — in Tuesday’s game, several Hawks

had to leave the game and head to the locker room to change skates —

worked to the Hawks’ advantage. Kruger’s dump-in shot from the blue

line bounced over Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi’s glove and hit the

right post, bouncing directly to Kruger on the left corner of the

crease for an easy tap-in.

After the Sharks cut the lead 2-1 on Tim Kennedy’s goal (on a nifty

move past Hawks goaltender Ray Emery), the Hawks made it 3-1 at 14:40

of the second on Shaw’s power play goal. Shaw’s first shot was stopped

by Niemi, and the puck fluttered in the air. Shaw took a whack at it,

but it was actually Pavelski who batted it into the net. Niklas

Hjalmarsson made it 4-1 early in the third period when his blast from

the point made its way past Niemi.

Emery, playing in place of the injured Corey Crawford (unspecified

upper-body injury), was sharp for the third straight game, improving

to 4-0 on the season with 27 saves — including a highlight-reel stop

on former Hawk Adam Burish in the third period, lunging to his right

to prevent the goal.



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