Goaltender Jean-Francois Berube made 42 saves to earn his first victory in more than a year, and the Chicago Blackhawks held off the San Jose Sharks for a 3-1 win on Friday night at the United Center in Chicago.
Jan Rutta, Nick Schmaltz and Artem Anisimov each scored one goal apiece for the Blackhawks. Chicago won back-to-back games for the first time since January.
Timo Meier scored the lone goal for the Sharks. San Jose lost its second game in as many nights.
Berube, 26, proved to be the unlikely star for the Blackhawks. He had appeared in only one game this season before Friday, but he made 15 saves in the first period, 10 saves in the second and 17 saves in the third to secure the win.
Sharks goaltender Martin Jones turned aside 33 shots but fell to 19-16-5.
Rutta opened the scoring for Chicago with 14:14 remaining in the second period. He ripped a one-timer that was blocked in the right circle, but he regained the loose puck and snapped his second shot attempt between Jones’ leg pads. That marked the rookie’s sixth goal of the season and his first since Jan. 12.
Chicago increased its lead to 2-0 with 17:59 to go in the third period. San Jose turned over the puck in its defensive zone, and Anthony Duclair quickly capitalized for the Blackhawks. Duclair slid a backhand pass to Schmaltz, who blasted a one-timer from the left side of the crease for his 17th goal.
San Jose cut the deficit to 2-1 with 7:51 remaining in the third period. Moments after center Joe Pavelski won a faceoff in the right circle, Meier buried a slap shot for his 15th goal.
Anisimov finished the scoring with an empty-net goal with 30.5 seconds to go.
Blackhawks left winger Patrick Sharp was a healthy scratch for the third game in a row as coach Joel Quenneville gives more playing time to his younger players with the postseason likely out of reach. Sharp, 36, has seven goals and nine assists in 51 games this season, which marks his 15th in the NHL.
—Field Level Media