Blackhawks deep roster fuels superb start

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

San Jose, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman believes the Hawks have what it takes to win the Stanley Cup.

“There haven’t been any glaring weaknesses,” Bowman said. “Our goaltenders and special teams have been strong throughout.”

They are off to a superb 8-0-2 start after 5-3 victory Tuesday night over the San Jose Sharks in a matchup of the NHL’s top two teams.

“We have all the elements there,” Bowman said. “I certainly like the balance we have. We’re (not) relying on one or two or three players to get it done.”

Patrick Kane scored two points, while Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger scored a point each for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford made 30 saves.

San Jose got out to quick a 2-0 lead on goals by Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels before Saad slammed a pass from Brent Seabrook at the side of the net 10:08 for his first goal of the season.

Michal Handzus answered for San Jose 39 seconds later when he beat Crawford to the short side off a pass in transition from Wingels to make it a 3-1 lead. But the Blackhawks took 8 seconds off the ensuing faceoff to get the goal from Shaw off a pass from behind the net by Bryan Bickell.

The game was tied 3-3 at 11:37 mark when Justin Braun’s clearing attempt hit Wingels’ skate and went right to Kruger, who knocked in his first goal of the season.

Patrick Kane scored the tiebreaking goal for Chicago on what would have been a San Jose power play and then added an empty-netter to seal the Blackhawks victory.

“It’s been a great start, and we’re happy with everything,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “We like the balance. The four-line rotation’s been great. “

The Sharks have lost three straight following a franchise-record seven-game winning streak to open the season.

The Blackhawks remain the only NHL team yet to lose a game in regulation this season — despite playing eight of 10 on the road.

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