CHICAGO - Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews scored in a shootout, and Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin turned away a final attempt by San Jose to give the Blackhawks a 6-5 victory over the Sharks on Wednesday night.
San Jose's Joe Thornton powered past Brent Seabrook and beat Nikolai Khabibulin to tie it 5-5 with 2:08 left in regulation. The Blackhawks had a 4-1 lead in the second period before the Sharks rallied.
Andrew Ladd had two goals for Chicago, and Dave Bolland added three assists. Devin Setoguchi scored two goals for the Sharks, including one with 5:07 left that cut Chicago's lead to 5-4.
After Kane scored to give Chicago the lead opening the shootout, a shot by San Jose's Joe Pavelski hit the pipe and went off. Toews then beat San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov, and Khabibulin secured the win by snuffing former Blackhawks star Jeremy Roenick.
Chicago moved out of a tie with idle Vancouver and back into sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference with 89 points, passing its season total of last season.
The Blackhawks will face the Canucks on Sunday in a pivotal game because the fourth-place finisher would get home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
With the one point, San Jose (107) tied idle Detroit for the NHL lead.
Toews' 30th goal of the season was a strange one and put Chicago up 4-1 in the second. Cam Barker's shot from the left circle went off the skate of San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov and then rebounded off Toews' foot into the goal - a score upheld by video review.
But the seemingly comfortable margin vanished quickly.
Just 15 seconds later, San Jose's Jamie McGinn scored as his shot bounded off Khabibulin, hit the skate of Blackhawks' defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson from behind and went in. Marc-Edouard Vlasic's goal on a shot that hit Chicago's Brent Seabrook and deflected in got the Sharks within 4-3 later in the period.
But Ladd's second goal of the game came early in the final period, on a give-and-go with Bolland, and restored Chicago's margin to two - a lead that didn't last.
The Blackhawks scored first, 67 seconds into the game, when Martin Havlat followed in a miss by Bolland after a long slap shot attempt by Seabrook.
San Jose got it back three minutes later on a power play as Setoguchi's long slap shot from between the circles got past a screened Khabibulin.
Dustin Byfuglien put Chicago back up 2-1 when his wrist shot appeared to fool Nabokov, went off his shoulder and into the net. A minute and a second later, Ladd rescued a loose puck from in front of the goal and flicked it past Nabokov for a two-goal lead.
Notes: Sharks captain Patrick Marleau missed the game to be with his wife, who gave birth to their second son Wednesday. Rob Blake and Ryane Clowe were among Sharks who missed the game with injuries. ... The Blackhawks reassigned D Jordan Hendry to the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs. He had four penalty minutes in nine games over two stints with the Blackhawks this season.