Blackhawks edge Sharks, set record
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Chicago • The shot was low and hard and cemented the Chicago Blackhawks' spot in the history books.

When Brandon Saad rifled the puck past goaltender Antti Niemi early in the third period Friday night at the United Center, the rookie propelled the Hawks to a 2-1 victory over the Sharks and continued a streak for the ages.

Viktor Stalberg also scored and Ray Emery was impressive in goal again as the Hawks finished their 17th consecutive game to start the season without a regulation loss, the longest such streak in league history.

"It's a great feeling," said Stalberg, who scored late in the second period to pull the Hawks into a 1-1 tie. "We've had a great run here. [This] maybe wasn't our best game but we're finding a way to win.

"We want to keep this going and see how far we can take this. It's kind of crazy to think you're not going to lose a game in regulation for the first 17 games. It's a cool thing to be a part of."

The Hawks also pulled into a tie for third in NHL history for longest overall points streak at 23 games over parts of two seasons — matching the 1975-76 Flyers and '40-41 Bruins.

Emery made 26 saves, allowing only a late first-period goal to Patrick Marleau. The Hawks moved to 14-0-3 overall and 6-0-1 at home this season and continued their assault on the Western Conference standings with their 31st point of a possible 34.