The Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks got together for a little Sunday evening hockey to close out the holiday weekend at the United Center. Still, before the actual puck drop, the Blackhawks got a visit from a familiar face and a local teenager battling cancer.
As part of the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer initiative, former Blackhawks’ captain and current radio analyst Troy Murray joined Niles native Devin Pittges for a ceremonial puck drop. Pittges, 15, is currently in remission after his fight against Osteosarcoma. Pittges got to keep the puck, and the sticks used by Jonathan Toews and Sharks captain Logan Couture.
Dropping tonight's puck is our very own Radio Color Analyst Troy Murray who is currently battling cancer, alongside Devin Pittges, a 15-year-old who is in remission after his fight against Osteosarcoma. 💜 pic.twitter.com/OyssCrnTIq
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 29, 2021
Despite heading into the first intermission with nothing to show, the Blackhawks played a solid first period against the Sharks. They had some good looks that they didn’t convert on, including a chance for Kirby Dach that probably would have been a goal, had Sharks goaltender James Reimer not poked the puck away from him in the nick of time.
The same could be said for both sides in the second period as both teams traded strong offensive shits to no avail as the birthday boy Marc-André Fleury and James Reimer traded save for save with both getting some help from their defenses in front of them.
Mario said before the game that it would be nice for Fleury to get a nice performance in front of him by his defenseman tonight for his 37th birthday gift, and he got just that for much of the night.
McCabe saving goals! pic.twitter.com/FpwNYqDjt9
— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) November 29, 2021
Just as James Reimer kept the Sharks in the game with an excellent performance in the first period, Marc-André Fleury would keep the Blackhawks in the second period in a solid showing by the two netminders through the first two periods.
Timo Meier put San Jose on top 1-0 late in the second period, just seconds after a missed opportunity on the other end with Alex DeBrincat and Seth Jones on a two-on-one that they couldn’t convert. Kirby Dach made an excellent play to get the puck to DeBrincat, who forced an errant pass across the ice to Jones, allowing the Sharks to break the stalemate. Rudolfs Balcers and Logan Couture assisted on the goal, with Couture setting Meier up for the redirect.
Rudolfs Balcers comes in and scores quick 💥 pic.twitter.com/mbJ0B4T98p
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) November 29, 2021
The Blackhawks outshot the Sharks again in the third period, this time, 10-3, but James Reimer was unbeatable as he whitewashed the Blackhawks on Sunday evening, the 25th of his career. Timo Meier added one for good measure with the Blackhawks net vacated to make it 2-0 San Jose with 91 ticks to play, and that’s where it would end.