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Sharks use late flurry of goals to beat pitiful Blackhawks

Jan 1, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) shoots the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Alexander Barabanov scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and defenseman Erik Karlsson extended his point streak to a franchise-record 13 games on Sunday, lifting the visiting San Jose Sharks to a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored his first goal of the season while playing in his 1,200th career game. Timo Meier, Jonah Gadjovich and Evgeny Svechnikov also scored and Kaapo Kahkonen made 20 saves for the Sharks, who halted a three-game losing skid (0-2-1) and avenged a 5-2 setback to Chicago on Oct. 15.

Karlsson joined captain Logan Couture and Oskar Lindblom in notching two assists. The helpers allowed Karlsson to snap a tie with Rob Gaudreau (1992-93) and Jonathan Cheechoo (2005-06) for solo ownership of the franchise-record point streak.

Chicago’s Patrick Kane opened the scoring and Sam Lafferty netted his fourth goal of the season and third against San Jose. Petr Mrazek turned aside 23 shots for the Blackhawks, who have lost four in a row and 26 of their last 30 games (4-22-4).

Barabanov settled a pass from Couture just over the blue line, skated across the top of the high slot and backhanded the puck past Mrazek to give San Jose a 3-2 lead with 1:26 remaining in the second period. The goal was Barabanov’s sixth of the season and second in as many nights.

Meier tapped home a loose puck on the doorstep at 3:52 of the third period with his team-leading 21st goal of the season.

Svechnikov capped the scoring with 7:05 remaining in the third period.

Chicago claimed a 2-0 lead before Gadjovich chipped home a loose puck in front to halve the deficit with 4:48 remaining in the second period. Karlsson, who unleashed the initial shot from the point, was credited with an assist to extend his point streak.

San Jose forged a tie 41 seconds later after Matt Benning’s sharp cross-slot feed caromed off the skate of Vlasic and into the net. The goal was allowed to stand after officials deemed that Vlasic did not use a distinct kicking motion.

–Field Level Media