Published — Sunday 24 February 2013
Last update 24 February 2013 3:05 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, Tennessee, 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.
With the game still scoreless in the third period, Maxim Lapierre had the puck behind the Nashville goal line and carried it up to the right circle.
He then spun and sent a shot toward Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne. Rinne kicked the puck away with his right pad, but Weise was there to put away the rebound for his first goal of the season.
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.
Niskanen took a pass from Kris Letang and scored on a one-timer from the left side at 7:49.
Jeffrey then scored his first goal since Feb. 18, 2012, when he redirected a shot from Matt Cooke at 15:15 to give the Penguins a 3-1 lead.
Chris Kunitz also scored for the Penguins and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves in his first start in five days.
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin left the game in the third period after he took an off-balance check from Erik Gudbranson while driving to the net and slid back-first into the end boards.
Malkin remained down on the ice for several moments, but skated off the ice on his own.
Florida defenseman Mike Weaver scored the Panthers’ goal.