CHICAGO — Aaron Dell made 16 saves in relief of Martin Jones for the San Jose Sharks in a 7-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Sunday.
Melker Karlsson, Evander Kane, Kevin Labanc, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl each had a goal and an assist for San Jose (18-11-5), which has won four straight and six of its past seven games. Jones allowed three goals on four shots before being replaced at 13:53 of the first period.
“That’s one that could have gone off the rails pretty easily,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “I thought we had a lot of composure on the bench. … There was a confidence to it. There wasn’t a panic to it, even when we were down. I thought [Dell] came in and gave us some big saves when he needed to.”
Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini scored for Chicago (10-19-6), which has lost two straight.
Corey Crawford made six saves on eight shots before leaving at 18:30 of the first period with a concussion following a collision in the net. He was replaced by Cam Ward, who made 30 saves.
“He’s probably the guy that’s worked the hardest and held us in the most over the season,” Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy said. “So that’s never a good sign.”
Crawford missed the final 47 games of the 2017-2018 season, and the first five games this season, dealing with remaining symptoms of a concussion before making his season debut Oct. 18. Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said Crawford will be under concussion protocol and doesn’t have a timetable for his return.
“[Crawford is] such a big part of our team and to lose him, it’s not good,” Murphy said. “You just feel for him because a game like that, we left our goalies hung out to dry. And for them to take guys crashing on him is not even fair either.”
DeBrincat gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead at 2:34 of the first period when his shot from the high slot trickled past Jones.
Strome made it 2-0 at 3:21 on a redirection in front, but Karlsson cut it to 2-1 at 9:58.
Marcus Sorensen scored 42 seconds later to tie it 2-2 on a backhand.
Perlini scored to make it 3-2 at 12:54, getting the rebound off Dylan Sikura’s initial shot at the right post.
Kane tied it 3-3 at 4:21 of the second period with a power-play goal, and Barclay Goodrow gave the Sharks a 4-3 lead at 7:36, redirecting Justin Braun‘s shot from the point.
“There’s no panic on our bench,” Goodrow said. “Lots of positivity. We knew if we stuck to the course we could climb back into it, and we played well after that.”
Couture extended the lead to 5-3 at 16:16 on a redirection in front, and Labanc made it 6-3 at 13:03 of the third period, scoring short side under the crossbar from the right circle on a power play.
“We’re playing the right way now,” Couture said. “Less cheating, less chances being taken in bad areas of the ice. Defensively we’ve played some very strong hockey and when we do that, it may be hard to realize, but it always leads to offense. You’re always going to score more goals when you’re defending well.”
Hertl made it 7-3 at 18:27 from the slot.
“We just didn’t play good defensively,” Strome said. “Lots of errors. We left [Ward] out to dry. It’s on us. He actually made some big saves for us and then we left him out there.
“When you’re out there, it doesn’t have much of an effect on if the goalie changes or whatever happens, we were just trying to continue to battle and that’s what happens sometimes.”
They said it
“That’s a tough spot for any goalie, especially when your partner gets hurt like that. We hope [Corey Crawford is] OK, but we wanted to pepper [Cam Ward with] as many shots as we could. We got traffic and a couple of deflection goals.” — Sharks forward Logan Couture
“I mean, you never want to see that, but we have to keep playing. It’s just one of those things that hopefully he’s back. I don’t know what happened, but nothing should change.” — Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith on goalie Corey Crawford
Need to know
Couture has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past seven games. … Sharks forward Joe Thornton needs one assist to tie Marcel Dionne (1,040) for 10th in NHL history. … Perlini’s goal was his first with the Blackhawks. He was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes on Nov. 25. Sikura’s assist on the goal was his first this season.
Sharks: At Minnesota Wild on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)
Blackhawks: Host the Nashville Predators on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)