Blackhawks hand Sharks a harsh defeat

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The San Jose Sharks came into Saturday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks with plenty of Joe Thornton-fueled distractions. It would be tough to blame Saturday’s 6-2 loss on Thornton, though.

When he scored his very fitting goal, he tied the game up 2-2.

It stayed that way through the second period, but things really fell apart in the final frame.

The Blackhawks scored four unanswered goals in that time period, generating a 17-9 shot advantage. Brandon Saad got the game winner while Patrick Sharp really made things out of reach with his second goal of the contest (his first tallies since January).

This loss was a painful one for Antti Niemi, who had been red-hot coming into today.

There wasn’t any word from the Sharks’ locker room – maybe someone was told to shut up? – but what can you really say after a loss like this?

(The distraction isn’t being blamed, if you’re wondering.)

One thing that could be said is that the Blackhawks are finding ways to win even without Patrick Kane … even if it isn’t always pretty:

There’s little denying how much this loss hurts the Sharks, too. According to Sports Club Stats, this defeat dropped San Jose’s odds of making the playoff by almost 10 percent.

Thornton, Doug Wilson and the rest of the Sharks organization may just have an uncomfortable amount of time to “talk” if they suffer more defeats like these.