Antti Niemi stopped Marian Hossa’s shot from the top of the right circle, but kicked the puck toward the goal line. Sharp swooped in to bury the rebound for his sixth goal in his last six games, helping Chicago improve to 4-0-1 in its last five.
Chicago’s Andrew Brunette scored on deflection with 1:06 left in the third period and Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery pulled for an extra attacker to tie it 2. Following a Chicago timeout and a faceoff in the Sharks’ zone, Brunette tipped in Hossa’s shot from the top of the slot.
Rookie Marcus Kruger also scored for the Blackhawks. Jamie McGinn and Justin Braun scored for San Jose.
Emery made 35 saves. Niemi stopped 31 shots and was sharp for the second time this season against his former teammates. Niemi, who backstopped the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup in 2010, shut out Chicago 1-0 in the teams’ only previous game this season – on Nov. 23 in San Jose.
RANGERS 6, PANTHERS 1
In New York, Derek Stepan scored twice, including a pretty coast-to-coast goal just after the Rangers killed a penalty, and New York beat Florida.
Stepan also assisted on Marian Gaborik’s goal late in the second period that made it 5-1 and seemed to take what spring remained out of the Panthers. New York looked nothing like a team playing for the second night in a row, putting away the Panthers for their fourth win in six games.
Brad Richards, Artem Anisimov and former Panthers defenseman Steve Eminger also scored for New York. Erik Gudbranson scored for Florida, which has lost two in a row following a three-game winning streak.
Florida’s Jose Theodore finished with 16 saves. New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped 20 of 21 shots.