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updated: 2/2/2014 12:35 AM

Hawks rally late, but Sharks prevail in shootout

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  • Hawks goalie Corey Crawford blocks a shot from the Sharks' Tommy Wingels during the first period Saturday in San Jose.

      Hawks goalie Corey Crawford blocks a shot from the Sharks' Tommy Wingels during the first period Saturday in San Jose.
    Associated Press

 
 

After a two-day break in Las Vegas for some rest and relaxation, the Blackhawks went back to work Saturday in San Jose.

The Sharks beat the Hawks 2-1 in a shootout as Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton all beat Corey Crawford.

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Jonathan Toews scored for the Hawks, but Antti Niemi stopped Patrick Sharp.

Pavelski scored short-handed early in the third period for a 1-0 San Jose lead, but Brandon Saad answered moments later on the same power play.

That's the way it stayed until overtime.

The Hawks failed to build off Wednesday's 5-2 win at Vancouver that snapped their four-game winless streak.

"It was back to the way we're used to playing," Toews told reporters on Saturday morning. "I think we all had some responsibility and played an accountable style of game. We had contributions from all over the lineup. Most of all the guys really wanted to win that one and did what we had to do to win to remind ourselves of what we were like before this little skid."

The Hawks got contributions from all four lines at Vancouver, including 4 points from the third line of Michal Handzus, Saad (2 goals) and Andrew Shaw.

"I think we needed to play a good game and we played all three periods," Handzus said. "We started slow but then I thought we took over the game. We needed not only the win but to play our game and our style and I thought we did that."

Saturday marked Handzus' first game back in San Jose since the trade last season that brought him to the Hawks.

Handzus was mostly a healthy scratch with the Sharks before joining the Hawks and being a solid contributor to the Stanley Cup win.

"Sometimes it's about a fit, I guess," Handzus said. "It's nothing against the Sharks. I know I didn't play my best here, but it was a good fit for me right away in Chicago and things just took off. I got that confidence back and it's been a lot of fun."

The Hawks weren't letting themselves be fooled by the fact San Jose had lost three games in a row. In losing 1-0 at Edmonton on Monday, the Sharks put 59 shots on Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens.

"They're always dangerous, especially here at home," Toews said. "We know there's going to be some shifts where you're stuck in your own zone and it feels like all (heck) is breaking loose, but you have to try and stay under control, stay calm and play your position."

The Sharks had scored only 1 goal in losing their last three games. Winger Brent Burns was without a goal in his last 12 games while defenseman Dan Boyle had 1 goal in his last 12 games.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan admitted it was "probably a good thing for our group" to be facing a top team like the Hawks at this point because of the challenge they present defensively.

"We had a message delivered today that while we're looking for offense, which obviously we are, we can't lose sight of some of the other areas of the game," McLellan said. "When you're not scoring 3 or 4 a night, you better be preventing."

The Sharks desperately miss forward Logan Couture, who underwent hand surgery Jan. 8. Couture is skating again, but McLellan said Couture would not be rushed back into the lineup.

"If he can do it, we'll be really excited and we'll welcome him back with open arms," McLellan said. "But I can tell you we will not put him in a situation where there's any risk at all of him re-injuring it or, putting him in a situation where another body part gets injured because he's not completely ready to play."

•Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone.

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