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Blackhawks rally to bite Sharks in San Jose

(Reuters) - Patrick Kane scored twice to cap a four-goal salvo as the Chicago Blackhawks overpowered the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on Tuesday to remain top of the NHL standings.

The visiting Blackhawks refused to panic when San Jose grabbed a 3-1 lead in the first period, instead responding with four unanswered goals to prevail in the high-profile Western Conference confrontation.

"We had a good lead, but they kept scoring, which is what good teams do," Sharks captain Joe Thornton told reporters. "They are on top of the conference for a reason."

Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger each scored to tie the game at 3-3 during an action-packed opening period before Kane delivered the win with a go-ahead goal in the second and added another in the closing minutes of the third.

Chicago improved to an NHL-leading 8-0-2 record, three points clear of the Sharks (7-2-1), who have now lost three in a row after opening the season with seven straight wins.

"It's a good start," Kane said of the Blackhawks, who are four games into a six-game road trip. "Hopefully we can continue it. I think we can even play better, so that's the exciting part."

San Jose got off to a flying start, grabbing a 2-0 advantage on goals from Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels.

Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad got his team on the scoreboard with his first career goal at 10:08 but Michal Handzus restored San Jose's advantage just seconds later.

It was an unenviable start for Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford, who was under constant attack in the early stages of first period, but he settled in to finish with 30 saves.

Antti Niemi had 26 saves and suffered his first regulation loss of the season.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)

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