The Blackhawks get another chance against a struggling Sharks penalty-kill unit Sunday night at the United Center.
Chicago (17-8-4) is converting at an NHL-leading 31.4 percent on the power play since Nov. 10, going 16 for 51. The Blackhawks, however, went 0 for 4 during a 1-0 loss at San Jose on Nov. 23 as former Chicago goalie Antti Niemi made 34 saves in the teams' first meeting of 2011-12.
The Sharks (15-10-1) own one of the league's worst penalty kills at 74.4 percent, and have allowed goals with the man advantage in four straight games. They conceded the lone goal of Saturday's 1-0 loss at St. Louis with the Blues on the power play.
San Jose, which has dropped five of seven overall, has now been shut out in consecutive road losses despite outshooting the Blues 24-19.
"It was kind of an April-May game," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "A lot of tight checking, a lot of playoff-style grinding along the boards. There were not a lot of chances for either team."
Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp each have two power-play goals over Chicago's last four games. Hossa's first-period tally in Thursday's 3-2 overtime win against the Islanders was his 400th NHL goal.
"Hossa is a pretty amazing player," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "You think of him, I don't think about his offense, but 400 is an amazing number. He should be proud of that achievement, and at the same time his overall game, which makes him special."
Sharp has five goals and three assists during a five-game point streak. Patrick Kane also has eight points in the same span.
Quenneville has announced that Ray Emery will make his third start in the Blackhawks' last four games Sunday. Emery has posted a 1.98 goals-against average in winning his last two starts.
"He just seems to progress in games," Quenneville told the Blackhawks' official website. "He's excited, especially when games are on the line. He's very solid, he finds pucks and his concentration level is in the right place. He moves well, seems big and looks comfortable and confident in the net."
Emery is 1-2-0 with a 4.00 GAA in three career starts against the Sharks.
The Sharks are completing their fifth set of back-to-back games. Niemi, who played Saturday, and backup Thomas Greiss each have started both contests in one set and split the outings in the other two.
Niemi improved to 4-1-0 with a 2.21 GAA against his former team after last month's victory. Greiss has never started against Chicago.
The Blackhawks have killed off 11 straight penalties while the Sharks are mired in a 1-for-26 slump on the power play after going 0 for 6 on Saturday.
The Sharks are 8-1-2 in their last 11 regular-season trips to the United Center.
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