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Western showdown no contest as Blackhawks beat Sharks 5-1

  • Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp gets the puck past Sharks' Antti Niemi on a penalty shot in the third period during an NHL game on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. (Andrew A. Nelles / Associated Press)

CHICAGO — Patrick Sharp scored two goals, including one on a third-period penalty shot, and Kris Versteeg had a goal and an assist to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-1 win Sunday against the San Jose Sharks.

Jonathan Toews and rookie Brandon Pirri also scored for the Blackhawks, who delivered a tidy defensive effort following a 7-2 loss in Nashville on Saturday, their most lopsided this season.

Joe Pavelski connected for San Jose in a matchup of two of the Western Conference's top teams.

Versteeg scored his first goal with the Blackhawks since being reacquired Thursday in trade from Florida. He was a member of Chicago's 2010 Stanley Cup-winning team.

Chicago's Corey Crawford and San Jose's Antti Niemi, the goalies who backstopped the Blackhawks to their two recent Stanley Cup titles, opposed each other.

Crawford, in nets for Chicago's Cup run last season, stopped 23 shots and wasn't heavily tested.

Niemi, who helped lead the 2010 Blackhawks to the championship, stopped 22 as he faced his former team for the 12th time.

Niemi is 5-6-1 against the Blackhawks. He signed with San Jose just three months after winning the Cup with Chicago.

Pirri, who led the AHL in points last year with 75 points, has goals in three consecutive games and four in his past six.

He scored the only goal of a crisply played first with 3:26 left in the period.

Patrick Kane went down the right wing into the San Jose zone, backing in Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan to the circle. Kane's shot deflected off Hannan and across the crease to the left side of the net, where Pirri buried the loose puck.

Pavelski tied it at 8:16 of the second on a 30-foot shot from the slot that Crawford caught, but then misplayed.

Crawford picked Pavelski's shot out of the air with his glove, but when he lowered it to his side, the puck rolled out and trickled across the goal line.

Sharp put Chicago back ahead at 2-1 just under four minutes later on a one-time shot from the left circle. He ripped the puck past Niemi after taking a pinpoint cross-ice feed from Marcus Kruger.

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