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Toews nets two as Blackhawks top Sharks

By Michael Duca

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Jonathan Toews was 14 years old

the last time the Chicago Blackhawks won in San Jose. Thanks to

the captain, that streak is over.

Toews scored two goals Saturday as the Blackhawks snapped a

13-game losing skid to the San Jose Sharks with a 4-2 victory.

Rookie Kris Versteeg netted a shorthanded tally, defenseman

Duncan Keith tallied on a power play and Nikolai Khabibulin made

32 saves for the Blackhawks, who recorded a win at the "Shark

Tank" for the first time since March 17, 2003.

Blue-liner Christian Ehrhoff and Milan Michalek both scored, Joe

Pavelski had two assists and Evgeni Nabokov turned aside 25

shots for the Sharks, who fell to 23-2-2 at home this season.

The 20-year-old Toews ended Nabokov's franchise-record shutout

streak just 48 seconds into the game. After Nabokov denied

Andrew Ladd's shot, Toews tapped in the rebound to stop the

streak at 170 minutes, 58 seconds.

"It was a great start for us," said defenseman Brent Seabrook,

who was one of only three Blackhawks on the team for the last

win in San Jose. "We came out hard and got one right off the

bat, then we carried it through. We worked hard, collectively,

for 60 minutes."

Chicago had a goal disallowed with 9:01 left in the first period

when, after a lengthy discussion between the officials, Versteeg

was handed a double-minor for high-sticking before the tally.

"It was an interesting call," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville

said. "We had the same thing the other day, (against the

Rangers) and we were well aware of the rule, and hoping they

would hurry up and drop the puck. They tied it right there and

almost made it 2-1."

Ehrhoff tied the contest at 1-1 with 7:54 left in the first on a

slap shot from the point beat Khabibulin on the glove side.

With Keith in the penalty box, Ehrhoff fanned on an attempt to

dump the puck, and it went to Dave Bolland for a breakaway.

Bolland was taken down by Ehrhoff, but he was able to get off a

shot, which rebounded back to Versteeg in the slot. The rookie

converted the rebound with a wrist shot at 7:56 of the middle

session for a 2-1 edge.

"I tried to catch the guy," Ehrhoff said. "I should have

probably kept skating, when I look at it now. I tried to take a

swipe at the puck and I took him down. It probably would have

been a penalty shot, then the second guy came and scored."

Toews then scored on a man-advantage with 3:45 left in the

second. Toews netted his second of the night from the left

doorstep, lifting one just under the crossbar from a difficult

angle to stretch the lead to 3-1.

"We had some bad luck last time in this building and gave away a

third-period lead," Toews said. "We were determined not to do

that tonight."

Keith and Michalek exchanged goals late in the third period to

provide the final margin.

"At 4-1 in the third period, not for a second did we think this

game was over," Patrick Sharp said. "We have great respect for

them and we can take lessons from the way they play - I don't

think they've taken any games off this season."

Sharks coach Todd McLellan did not mince words in describing how

he saw the game.

"The tempo of the game was in their favor, and the specialty

teams were in their favor," he said. "They were faster than we

were. I thought we were second to a lot of pucks and spent any

type of energy we did have defending in our end. When we were

on offense, we were tired and looking for a line change.

"We miss Danny (Boyle) on the point on the power play. It's

evident. That really affects our hockey club, but this is a

scenario we could face three months from now and we'd better be

prepared to adapt and adjust. Other people have to give us more

in those situations."



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