Article

In-form Blackhawks ease past Sharks

16 February 2013 09:12

Chicago toppled the San Jose Sharks 4-1 in the NHL on Friday while Eastern Conference leaders New Jersey also won.

The Blackhawks - who are the best performed side in the Western Conference - continued their superb start to the season with the victory.

Chicago have won at least a point in all of their 14 matches this season, recording 11 wins and three overtime or shootout defeats.

It means they are just two games away from levelling an NHL record, with the Anaheim Ducks holding that after starting a season by gaining at least a point in their first 16 encounters of the 2006/07 campaign.

Their latest triumph came at their home rink, the United Center, with goals in all three periods helping them to victory.

Dave Bolland fired Chicago in front in the last minute of the first period and Marcus Kruger doubled their account early in the second.

Tim Kennedy responded quickly for San Jose but a crucial powerplay goal from Andrew Shaw restored Chicago's two-goal advantage.

And they made sure of the win when Niklas Hjalmarsson scored with six minutes gone in the third period.

Chicago remain four points ahead of Anaheim - who beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 - in the Western Conference.

In the East, New Jersey continued their brilliant start to the season with a 5-3 come-from-behind victory against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Devils took the lead after just 40 seconds through Travis Zajac but they were quickly on the back foot thanks to three Flyers goals.

Wayne Simmonds scored the leveller after nine minutes and just moments later, Mike Knuble and Matt Read also netted for Philadelphia.

Alexei Ponikarovsky and Patrik Elias bagged responses in the second period to leave the game locked at 3-3 before David Clarkson and Steve Bernier scored crucial goals in the latter stages for the winners.

Other results saw the Dallas Stars score the last three goals in a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks while the St Louis Blues toppled the Calgary Flames 5-2 and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1.

The Buffalo Sabres were 4-2 winners against the Boston Bruins and the Los Angeles Kings edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1.

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