CHICAGO – The San Jose Sharks’ power play is starting to show some bite.
Devin Setoguchi’s power-play goal with 4:15 left gave San Jose a 6-5 victory over Chicago on Sunday night, the Blackhawks’ first home loss in regulation this season.
Setoguchi scored on a screened shot from the high slot.
“As soon as I got the puck I took a quick look at the net and saw traffic there,” said Setoguchi, who also had an assist. “I figured I’d bury my head and just shoot as hard as I could. It found a hole and went in.
Dan Boyle scored two power-play goals for the Sharks, who went 4-for-6 with the man advantage. In their previous game, a 6-1 rout of Calgary on Thursday night in San Jose, the Sharks went 4-for-9.
Milan Michalek, Joe Thornton and Jeremy Roenick also connected to help NHL-leading San Jose win its second straight to improve to 9-1-1 in its last 11.
Although the Sharks lead the NHL with 31 points, they entered Sunday’s game with an 18.8 power-play conversion rate – only 14th best.
“Against Calgary it was four-for-something, too,” Setoguchi said. “Lately we’re starting to get shots and pucks are going in for us.”
“The power play has been pretty good the last couple of nights,” added San Jose goalie Brian Boucher. “We have the guns, there’s no question. If we keep doing what we’re doing – getting point shots and spreading things out – it’s hard to defend.
San Jose’s Joe Pavelski had three assists.
Chicago defencemen Brian Campbell and Cam Barker each had a goal and two assists. The Blackhawks’ Kris Versteeg scored a pair of fluke goals on misplays by Boucher. Patrick Kane also scored for Chicago, 6-1-4 at home and 4-1-2 in its last seven overall.
Boucher stopped 28 shots, and Chicago’s Cristobal Huet made 25 saves.
“It was one of those crazy nights when the last guy standing wins,” Boucher said. “You got to win all different ways. Two points is two points. And on the road against a team that hasn’t lost in regulation, it’s a nice win for us.”
Both San Jose and Chicago players and coaches remarked about a rough ice surface that led to bouncing pucks and miscues.
“For the coaches involved, and even the players, I’m sure they’re not satisfied with the way the night evolved,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “It was quite sloppy. Both teams had good moments and bad moments, but that looked more like a pre-season game in my opinion.”
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville was less complimentary.
“They got the lead on the first shift,” Quenneville said. “We couldn’t keep possession of the puck. And some of the penalties we took … not with a power-play threat they have.
“I’m not happy at all with the way this thing ended. They’re a good team. We had them where we wanted them and let them off the hook. We were gracious.”
Michalek opened the scoring 42 seconds in, connecting from the left circle following a faceoff.
Versteeg scored a short-handed goal at 8:51 to tie it. After Boucher misplayed the puck behind the net, Versteeg stole it and tucked it into an empty net.
Thornton scored on a rebound 24 second later on the same Sharks’ power play to restore San Jose’s lead at 2-1.
Campbell tied it at 2 with 2:27 left in the first on a one-time shot from the right point that fooled Boucher on the short side.
San Jose took a 4-2 lead in the first half of the second period on goals by Boyle and Roenick.
Boyle made it 3-2 with a power-play goal at 5:51, scored on a one-time shot from just outside the crease. Roenick made it 4-2 after Chicago defenceman Brent Sopel fanned on a pass deep in the Blackhawks zone.
Chicago bounced back with three goals – by Versteeg, Barker and Kane – in the second half of the period, and led 5-4 after 40 minutes.
Versteeg cut it to 4-3 with 9:07 left when his centring pass from behind the net deflected in off Boucher’s stick. Barker and Kane then scored power-play goals 18 seconds apart late in the second.
Boyle’s second power-play score, a minute into the third, tied it at five.
Notes: Roenick’s goal was his first since March 28 and first in 21 games. … Sharks G Evgeni Nabokov missed his fifth game because of a lower-body injury. Boucher was backed up by Thomas Greiss. … San Jose RW Mike Grier sat out with a lower-body injury, sustained in the Sharks’ previous game, Thursday versus Calgary. San Jose RW Jonathan Cheechoo returned after missing four games with a back injury. … Chicago reported no injured players. … The Blackhawks begin a six-game road trip at Phoenix on Tuesday and don’t play again at the United Center until Dec. 3.