For a brief while Friday night, the Blackhawks' present took a back seat to the past.
Once the red carpet on the pregame ceremony honoring Hawks legends Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita was rolled up, the Hawks went back to the business of fighting for a Western Conference playoff spot.
The San Jose Sharks spoiled some of the evening's fun, snapping the Hawks' three-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory at the United Center before a crowd of 21,908, the largest of the season.
The loss in the playoff-like atmosphere dropped the Hawks' season record to 33-29-6 and put a dent in their postseason chances.
The Hawks opened the scoring with Brent Seabrook's power-play goal at the 3-minute-35-second mark of the first period. Seabrook poked a rebound of a Patrick Sharp shot past Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov for his ninth goal of the season. The goal was the 42nd of the season for a Hawks defenseman after blue-liners scored 21 all last season.
Jonathan Cheechoo of the Sharks wasted little time tying it with a goal 17 seconds later when he scored past Hawks goalie Patrick Lalime from in close.
The Sharks went up 2-1 on Kyle McLaren's goal at 12:45. McLaren took a feed from behind the goal from Joe Thornton and fired a one-timer from between the circles. Thornton earned his second assist—and 62nd of the season—on the goal.
Rookie center Jonathan Toews tipped in a Duncan Keith shot from the blue line at 18:09 of the first to make it 2-2 . The goal was Toews' 19th in his 50th game of the season.
At 14:31 of the second, Patrick Marleau's wrist shot from inside the left circle got by Lalime to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead.
Rene Bourque appeared to score the tying goal with 31 seconds left in the game, but it was disallowed after it was ruled he directed the puck in with his hand.
Hawks winger Ben Eager suffered a slightly separated shoulder after taking a hit by McLaren during the first period.
Waiting gameVeteran center Kevyn Adams is ready to return to action following months of rehabilitation of his injured left knee, but Hawks coach Denis Savard made him a healthy scratch Friday night.
Savard is reluctant to change a lineup that has been playing so well so Adams' comeback after not playing since Nov. 7 is on hold.
"It's a tough call, [Adams is] one of my leaders," Savard said. "He really has worked hard to get back. He understands. He's ready. Day by day we'll see what happens."
Paying the priceSavard said the play of Wednesday night's game was when rookie Patrick Kane was checked face first into the boards but recovered in time to set up the Hawks' second goal in the 3-0 victory.
"It's a good feeling after the game when guys are coming up to you and saying good job," said Kane, who was slow to get up after the hit. "It's not something I want to be getting used to when I'm getting drilled into the boards like that."
One-timersGoaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who has missed eight games with back spasms, was able to exercise for the first time since the injury Friday. He's expected to return to the ice for practice in a couple of days. … Rookie center Dave Bolland missed his second straight game with a hip flexor and isn't expected to play Sunday afternoon when the Hawks host the Edmonton Oilers.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times