NHL: Win over Sharks gives Blackhawks best start ever

2013-02-23T00:00:00Z NHL: Win over Sharks gives Blackhawks best start everThe Associated Press The Associated Press
February 23, 2013 12:00 am  • 

CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks set an NHL record for the best start to a season, beating the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Friday night to give them at least one point in their first 17 games.

Blackhawks rookie Brandon Saad scored a short-handed goal early in the third period to snap a 1-all tie. Chicago (14-0-3) won its fourth straight game to break a mark set by the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks, who earned points in their first 16 games.

The Blackhawks equaled that run Tuesday with a shootout win over Vancouver.

Saad closed in on the left wing one-on-one with San Jose defenseman Brent Burns. After a quick fake, Saad fired a shot from the circle that beat San Jose's Antti Niemi just under the glove 2:24 into the period.

Viktor Stalberg also scored for league-leading Chicago, which has captured a total of 31 of 34 possible points.

Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery made 26 saves to win his fourth straight start and improve to 7-0. Chicago killed all four San Jose power plays, all of which occurred in a span of under 14 minutes late in the second and early in the third periods.

Patrick Marleau scored for the Sharks, getting only his second goal in 11 games after getting nine in San Jose's first five games.

• Canucks 1, Predators 0: In Nashville, Tenn., Dale Weise broke a scoreless tie at 9:14 of the third period and Roberto Luongo made 23 saves for the shutout and Vancouver defeated Nashville.

The Canucks have won consecutive games on their four-game road trip after losing three straight.

Nashville has lost three of its past four.

• Penguins 3, Panthers 1: In Pittsburgh, Matt Niskanen and Dustin Jeffrey scored third-period goals to send Pittsburgh over Florida.

Panthers goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 37 saves in his first NHL start this season.

Slap shots

• Columbus Blue Jackets center Artem Anisimov was released from a Detroit hospital and has flown home after a scary hit in a game with the Red Wings on Thursday night. Anisimov was taken off the ice on a stretcher after being struck in the head by Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey. Anisimov's head then hit the ice as Quincey fell on top of him.

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