The Blackhawks fell to the Sharks on Wednesday 2-1, but they appear to have escaped a bigger body blow to their season.
Jonathan Toews left during the second period because of an upper-body injury after falling awkwardly to the ice during his last shift, which he completed with 11 minutes, 17 seconds remaining in the period.
The good news for Hawks fans is that coach Joel Quenneville said the team is "hopeful" Toews would be fine.
"We'll know more (Thursday) but we're hopeful he's OK," Quenneville said. "Nothing long-term or serious."
The Hawks held their own without Toews and scored their lone goal after he was out when Artemi Panarin sent home a one-timer from the left circle off a pass from Artem Anisimov. But aside from that, the Hawks could not solve Sharks goaltender Martin Jones, who made 33 saves.
"It's tough when guys go down, especially in the middle of games you're playing … down shorthanded," defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "It's a battle out there and 'Tazer' is a big part of this team. He plays every situation."
That included a 4-on-3 penalty kill the Hawks attempted to squash in the first period, but the Sharks Logan Couture sent in a rocket of a shot past Corey Crawford at 11:32.
Then the Hawks had more special teams trouble, this time on the power play.
Seabrook dove to try and keep the puck in the Hawks zone, but after he missed, Sharks winger Joel Ward chased it down before Seabrook could get to it, then beat Crawford wide for the Sharks' second goal of the night.
It was a goal both Seabrook and Crawford took responsibility for.
"Got to be better in situations like that and it starts with me," Seabrook said.
Crawford said he made a "terrible" read on the play.
"I make a huge error on the second one there, just not getting out and getting caught flat-footed," Crawford said. "We lost a lot of momentum."
The Hawks also dodged another potential injury in the second period. During a stoppage in play, officials removed Hawks center Marcus Kruger from the game.
Quenneville said it was a result of the NHL's new concussion protocol in which spotters watching the games in Toronto can remove players from a game. But Kruger was cleared to return and played in the third period.
Quenneville said it was the first time this season the Hawks had to remove someone because of the new NHL regulations.
"I think everyone was trying to do the right things," Quenneville said.
Overall the Hawks did more right things in San Jose than Monday's 5-0 shellacking at the hands of the Oilers, even if the result didn't show it.
"It was definitely a better effort," Seabrook said. "That's a good team over there, San Jose. We shored up some things and made a couple mistakes, the puck went in our net."
It helped their attitude that they appeared to dodge a major setback to their season given the non-severity of Toews' injury.
Chris Hine's three stars
1. Martin Jones, Sharks – Kept Hawks at bay with 33 saves
2. Corey Crawford, Blackhawks – Finished with 32 saves
3. Logan Couture, Sharks – Had an impressive one-timer goal
At Ducks. 3 p.m. Friday; CSN.