January 31, 2015

As the Chicago Blackhawks feel the effects from their longest road stretch of the season, the San Jose Sharks may be disappointed to be returning home.

Fresh off a perfect trip, the Sharks vie for a seventh consecutive win Wednesday night against a Blackhawks team that struggled its last time out.

San Jose (13-8-0) scored four unanswered goals over the final 13:47 to rally for a 5-3 victory Sunday against Columbus and complete a 6-0-0 trek. The win was the Sharks' seventh straight on the road, where they're a league-best 10-3-0.

''I think that 6-0 at the NHL level at any time is quite a feat,'' said coach Peter DeBoer, who returned to the bench after missing Saturday's 3-1 win over Pittsburgh due to a personal matter. ''But to go on the road and rattle off those wins in the buildings we just played in, I think is a real testament to the character of our group and the leadership of our group.''

Joe Pavelski scored twice during the third-period comeback and compiled four goals and three assists on the trip. Brent Burns has three goals in the last two wins and Patrick Marleau has been hot as well, notching a goal and an assist Sunday to give him six points in five games. The Sharks' captain had nine points over his first 16.

Martin Jones also shined, posting a 1.56 goals-against average while starting five of the wins. He was named the NHL's First Star of the Week on Monday after following Thursday's 34-save shutout of Philadelphia with 38 saves against Pittsburgh.

San Jose, which last won seven straight March 25-April 5, 2013, hasn't achieved the same success at SAP Center. The Sharks have 18 goals in going 3-5-0 at home and are scoring 3.08 per game on the road.

Offense may be easier to come by after the Blackhawks yielded their highest regulation goal total of the season during Saturday's 6-3 defeat at Vancouver, the third stop on a six-game western swing. The Canucks scored three times in the final 5:25 as Chicago appeared to wear down in its second game in as many days.

''It's disappointing. We played pretty well and controlled most of the game," forward Patrick Kane said. "You get yourself back 3-3 and a couple of shifts later you're down 5-3. It's frustrating but those guys made some good plays."

Kane assisted on Artem Anisimov's goal that forged a 3-all tie with 7:40 left to extend his career-high point streak to 16 games. The standout wing has 10 goals and 16 assists during the run and a league-leading 32 points.

Chicago (11-8-2) fell to 1-1-1 on the trip and 3-6-1 overall on the road, where Corey Crawford owns a 3.33 GAA compared to a 2.11 mark at home. He made 14 saves against the Canucks and has allowed three or more goals in five of his past seven outings, recording a 3.77 GAA during that span.

Crawford did win both starts against the Sharks last season, including a 33-save effort in a 6-2 victory at San Jose on March 14.

Chicago has earned a point in eight of its last nine meetings with San Jose, which earned a 2-0 home decision Jan. 31. The Blackhawks are 6-1-2 over the stretch.

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