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Western showdown no contest as Blackhawks beat Sharks 5-1

  • Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp (10) scores a goal past San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi on a penalty shot during the third period of an NHL hockey game on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)

CHICAGO — Patrick Sharp scored two goals, including one on a third-period penalty shot, and Kris Versteeg had a goal and an assist to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-1 win Sunday against the San Jose Sharks.

Jonathan Toews and rookie Brandon Pirri also scored for the Blackhawks, who delivered a tidy defensive effort following a 7-2 loss in Nashville on Saturday, their most lopsided this season.

Joe Pavelski connected for San Jose in a matchup of two of the Western Conference's top teams.

Versteeg scored his first goal with the Blackhawks since being reacquired Thursday in trade from Florida. He was a member of Chicago's 2010 Stanley Cup-winning team.

Chicago's Corey Crawford and San Jose's Antti Niemi, the goalies who backstopped the Blackhawks to their two recent Stanley Cup titles, opposed each other.

Crawford, in nets for Chicago's Cup run last season, stopped 23 shots and wasn't heavily tested.

Niemi, who helped lead the 2010 Blackhawks to the championship, stopped 22 as he faced his former team for the 12th time.

Niemi is 5-6-1 against the Blackhawks. He signed with San Jose just three months after winning the Cup with Chicago.

Pirri, who led the AHL in points last year with 75 points, has goals in three <WC>consecutive<WC1> games and four in his past six.

He scored the only goal of a crisply played first with 3:26 left in the period.


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