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Poor start keeps the Blackhawks from ending their west coast trip with momentum

SAN JOSE, CA - NOVEMBER 5: Dylan Strome #17 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates around the net against Martin Jones #31 and Mario Ferraro #38 of the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on November 5, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images)

SAN JOSE – Getting any kind of streak built in the first month of the season has been quite a test for Jeremy Colliton’s team.

Only one time have they won back-to-back games, and that inability to sustain momentum is a reason the team has spent October and November under .500. Once again, a good chance to do so arose on Tuesday night after they beat the Ducks in overtime on Sunday night.

They’d be finishing off a four-game road trip – with three of those games coming out west – against the struggling Sharks who were 4-10-1 coming into the contest. Even though San Jose had beaten the Blackhawks earlier in the season, the chance was there for the Blackhawks to get a second-straight win for just the second time on the season.

Yet again, the chance to do so slipped away from Colliton’s team, who let a bad middle part of the game doom them to another loss on the season.

Two Sharks goals in the second period and one early in the third provided a hole too big for the Blackhawks to dig out of in a 4-2 defeat that drops their record to 4-7-3 on the season. The team finished with just three out of a possible eight points on the trip as they approach the end of their first month of play this season.

Patrick Marleau and Evander Kane got the Sharks on the board with a pair of goals in the second period with Tomas Hertl making it 3-0 just under five minutes into the third. The Blackhawks finally got on the board late with a goal from Brandon Saad with 3:02 left then another score from Duncan Keith with 1:52 to go but the Sharks would add an empty netter to end any hope of a comeback.

It’s yet another disappointment for the Blackhawks in what has been a letdown of a start to the 2019-2020 season, especially with the team playing so well at times in the second half of last season. They currently sit nine games behind the final Western Conference Wild Card spot and once again face a climb to get back in the playoff picture from the start. It didn’t work out well last year when the Blackhawks were able to rally in January and February before running out of steam in March and early April.

A busy stretch awaits the group as they face Vancouver at home Thursday before traveling to Pittsburgh Saturday before coming home to host the Maple Leafs on Sunday. The team needs to find some momentum as they start their second month of competition because it hasn’t been there in the first.

 

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