NHL Game Summary - Chicago at San Jose
(Saturday, January 31st)
Final Score: Chicago 4, San Jose 2
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Jonathan Toews scored a pair of goals and Nikolai Khabibulin made 32 saves as the Blackhawks dealt the mighty Sharks a 4-2 home loss and snapped a 13-game losing streak against San Jose in the process.
Kris Versteeg and Duncan Keith also had goals for Chicago, which last tasted victory in this series back on October 7, 2005. The Blackhawks were 0-8 with two ties in their last 10 trips to San Jose, with their last previous victory in San Jose coming on March 17, 2003.
"I think this (win) symbolizes us coming back together as a team and playing the way we know we can," Toews said, reflecting on losing three of four heading into the All-Star break. "We had some bad luck the last time we were in this building, had a lead in the third period and gave it away. This time we were pretty determined not to do that."
The Blackhawks improved to 2-1-0 thus far on a season-high eight-game road trip.
Christian Ehrhoff and Milan Michalek lit the lamp for the Sharks, who were angling for a fifth consecutive victory.
Evgeni Nabokov, who came into Saturday on the heels of back-to-back shutout victories, allowed four goals on 29 shots in the loss.
San Jose remains the best home team in the NHL and lost for just the second time this season on home ice (23-2-2).
Toews set the tone for the game by beating Nabokov with a wrister just 48 seconds into the game and Dave Bolland looked to have the 'Hawks up 2-0 a short time later but the refs waived off the goal and boxed Dustin Byfuglien on a double-minor for high-sticking.
San Jose cashed in as Ehrhoff's power-play slap per from the high slot found its way through traffic at 12:06 and tied things up.
Bolland intercepted an errant Sharks pass while the home squad was working a power play early in the second and raced the other way. While breaking in on Nabokov, Bolland was slashed at the ankles but got a shot off from his behind and Versteeg followed up the play, depositing a juicy rebound in the back of the net.
A power-play goal later in the period made it 3-1 Chicago as Patrick Kane worked the puck down low to Nabokov's right and Toews roofed it short side over the netminder's shoulder.
"The tempo of the game was in their favor and the special teams were in their favor," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said.
Keith's power-play marker with 5:26 left in the game looked to ice a 'Hawks victory, but Michalek lifted a backhander past Khabibulin on a partial breakaway just 10 seconds later.
Khabibulin, though, withstood a furious charge from the Sharks down the stretch, including the final 1:42 with Nabokov on the bench. He had to make 12 third-period saves in all to allow for the win.
Chicago, which is 13-9-3 as the visiting club this season, will play the next stretch of its road trip in western Canada, beginning with Tuesday's stop in Edmonton...The Sharks next host Carolina on Thursday...San Jose's Joe Pavelski had two assists...Versteeg also added an assist for Chicago.
02/01 02:48:28 ET