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NHL Game Summary - Carolina at San Jose

(Saturday, December 10th)

Final Score: San Jose 4, Carolina 3

San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Joe Thornton scored a goal and picked up three assists as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3, at the HP Pavilion.

Since the Thornton deal, the Sharks have won five in a row and he has picked up 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in five games.

Evgeni Nabokov made 29 saves and Jonathan Cheechoo scored two goals as San Jose has won five of seven and eight of the last 13 meetings against the Hurricanes.

Eric Staal netted his 21st goal of the season in the Carolina loss, its first in three games. Martin Gerber allowed four goals on 39 shots.

With 6:39 remaining in the second and the game tied at 1-1, the Sharks grabbed the lead with Cheechoo netting his 11th goal of the season. Thornton dashed into the Carolina zone and from below the right face-off circle made a nifty backhand pass across to Cheechoo, who one-timed the puck past a diving a Gerber for the goal.

"I think the team has a lot of confidence right now," said Thornton. "It's been fun playing out here. You just come in and win some games and help out the team as much as you can. It's been all twenty guys, it isn't just me."

Nils Ekman gave San Jose a two-goal cushion just over five minutes into the final frame. Thornton crashed the net attempting to stuff the puck home but Gerber made the save. However, the rebound bounced out to Ekman, who slapped it home for the 3-1 edge.

Cheechoo netted his second of the game 32 seconds later, scoring on a slap shot from the slot and giving the Sharks a 4-1 advantage.

"He's (Thornton) just a gifted passer," said Cheechoo. "He always puts it flat for you. Just got to tee it up, and luckily a couple found the net tonight."

Staal scored a shorthanded goal, his third of the season, with 12:23 remaining in the game, making it 4-2. Staal controlled the puck from behind the San Jose net and, on a wrap around, slid the puck through Nabokov's legs.

With 2:36 left in regulation, Craig Adams deflected a Chad LaRose back hand shot past Nabokov making it a 4-3 game. The Hurricanes had three quality scoring chances in the final minute, but Nabokov stood tall to preserve the win.

"We threw everything we had at them in the third and we had some chances, we just came up short," said Adams.

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead with Thornton scoring his second goal as a Shark about four minutes into the second stanza. Christian Ehrhoff sent a pass from the point to Thornton at the left side of the net and he wristed the puck through Gerber's five-hole.

Just over two minutes later, the Hurricanes tied it up at 1-1 with Rod Brind'Amour's 10th goal of the season. On the power play, Brind'Amour snapped the puck on net from the right face-off circle and, with Justin Williams screening Nabokov, the disc found its way in the back of the net.

Game Notes

San Jose was 1-of-6 on the power play while Carolina was 1-of-2...Carolina forward Cory Stillman extended his point streak to four games, picking up an assist...Canes defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky picked up his 300th career point...The Sharks are 7-3-2 at home this year while the Hurricanes are 9-5-2 on the road...Carolina has dropped three straight and four of its last five at the Shark Tank.

12/11 02:13:43 ET

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