Red-hot ‘Hawks hope to extend win streak against Sharks

The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to win a season-high fifth consecutive game when they visit the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Not only are the Blackhawks, who are in last place in the Central Division and sit third from the bottom of the league standings, defying the odds by racking up wins, but their last couple have been wildly entertaining with late-game heroics.

After using a third-period comeback to beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday, the Blackhawks — led by Patrick Kane and Max Domi — erased a 3-0 deficit and beat the Dallas Stars the next night 4-3.

Two thrilling comeback victories over the two division leaders in the Western Conference proved no small feat, especially for a rebuilding squad.

“That’s a great test,” Domi said. “We just found a way to beat two of the best teams in the West on a back-to-back with traveling, very limited sleep. That’s mental toughness. You need that to win in this league and I think (the young players are) getting first-hand exposure to that, so it’s great for our group.”

Kane and Domi both collected two goals and one assist against Dallas, which has them on torrid sprees. Kane has netted seven goals and 10 points in four games, while Domi has notched three goals and 11 points in a five-game run.

Kane, who is to decide in the coming days whether he will waive his no-moment clause for a potential trade, had nine goals in his first 50 games this season, and is definitely playing his best hockey of the campaign.

“Our line in general, even if we have shifts where nothing happens, that’s OK,” he said. “We just stick with it. We know, sooner or later, something’s gonna happen.”

The Sharks, who will retire the No. 12 of long-time star Patrick Marleau before puck drop, return to action after a humbling 6-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

San Jose, which is two points ahead of the Blackhawks, has lost four of five games. Although everybody knew it would be a tough campaign for the squad, their performance against the Predators only earned being booed off the ice by their fans.

“We made it look like their group had a lot of fun against us and that’s tough to watch as a fan, I bet,” forward Nico Sturm said. “I’ve thought at least one thing that was always going for us this year is that the group was competing hard.

“(It was) one of the rare occasions where I thought, just all areas of the ice, we look weak.”

Making the defeat even more disappointing was how it followed arguably San Jose’s best game of the season, a 4-0 win over the Seattle Kraken three nights earlier.

“There were some bright spots, but you have to sift through a lot of bad to find the good,” coach David Quinn said of his team’s performance against the Predators.

There was no word whether San Jose standout forward Timo Meier — who like Kane is the subject of trade talk — will return to action.

Meier, who leads San Jose with 31 goals, has missed two consecutive games due to injury.

–Field Level Media