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Trip ends on a high note
Sharks double up Hawks 6-3
2/19/04 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks took advantage of a dazed and confused Chicago Blackhawks team on Thursday night in Chicago, capping their six-game road trip with a 6-3 win. The Blackhawks dealt team captain Alexei Zhamnov hours before the game, and the effects were spread across the Blackhawks lineup during the game. The Sharks on the other hand settled themselves from a 7-3 thrashing the night before to finish off their road trip with a .500 showing. The win also pushed the Sharks lead back to eight points in the Pacific Division Race.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 2 2 2 6
CHI 1 0 2 3
1st period - S.J, MARLEAU (25) (DAMPHOUSSE), 04:32 CHI, RUUTU (9) (DEMPSEY, CALDER), 08:51 S.J, PRIMEAU (7) (STURM, MCLAREN), 14:32
2nd period - S.J, DAMPHOUSSE (6) (STURM, DIMITRAKOS), 02:33 S.J, STURM (17) (MARLEAU), 03:42
3rd period - S.J, KOROLYUK (8) (EKMAN, MCCAULEY), 02:11 CHI, MCLEAN (8) (RUUTU, BERARD), 10:42 CHI, BERARD (10) (RUUTU, KOROLEV), 18:59 S.J, CHEECHOO (15) (RATHJE), 19:41
1st period - CHI, AITKEN, 03:20 - Interference CHI, STRUDWICK, 04:51 - Fighting (maj) S.J, PRIMEAU, 04:51 - Fighting (maj) CHI, KOROLEV, 06:10 - Hooking CHI, MCLEAN, 14:53 - Hooking
2nd period - CHI, KOROLEV, 02:23 - Holding stick - Obstruction CHI, RUUTU, 14:10 - Fighting (maj) S.J, HARVEY, 14:10 - Misconduct (10 min) S.J, HARVEY, 14:10 - Instigator S.J, HARVEY, 14:10 - Fighting (maj) CHI, NICHOL, 19:30 - Holding
3rd period - CHI, MCLEAN, 04:23 - Tripping S.J, PRIMEAU, 10:04 - Hooking CHI, NIEMINEN, 13:02 - Roughing CHI, VANDENBUSSCHE, 20:00 - Charging S.J, PRIMEAU, 20:00 - Gross misconduct
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 34 31
CHI - Anderson 29 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 12 10 8 30
CHI 11 11 12 34
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 7
CHI 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Marco Sturm
Patrick Marleau
Bryan Berard
The Sharks set out to bounce back from their poor showing on Wednesday night by settling down the penalty kill and revving up the power play. The first thing that ended up bouncing was defenseman Tom Preissing's head after he was hit from behind by Tuomo Ruutu. The hit caused Preissing to lose consciousness for a moment after his head hit the glass deep in the Sharks zone. Ruutu was not assessed a penalty for the hit, but he clearly left his feet before drilling Preissing in the numbers.

San Jose would respond with two goals in the period. Patrick Marleau continued to wield a hot hand by scoring his 26th of the season after Blackhawks defenseman Jonathan Aiken was sent off for interference. Marleau dropped a give-and-go pass to Vincent Damphousse along the right wing boards before streaking past two Chicago defensmen. Damphousse slipped the puck back to Marleau, who wrested a shot past goaltender Craig Anderson.

Ruutu would tie the game four minutes later after snapping a rebound past Evgeni Nabokov from five feet out.

Wayne Primeau would give the Sharks the lead for good by following up on a Marco Sturm scoring chance in tight. Anderson stuffed Sturm after the Sharks winger tried jamming the puck in from the top of the crease, but he failed to control the rebound. Primeau was hot on Sturm's heels, and his jab flicked the puck over Anderson's shoulder.

Sturm wouldn't miss in the 2nd period, tallying his 18th of the season with a nifty move down low that left Anderson dead to rights. Damphousse had converted just over a minute earlier when he pumped his own rebound past Anderson for his 7th goal of the season.

The two teams would exchange a pair of goals in the final period. Alexander Korolyuk scored a highlight reel goal after deeking a Hawks defenseman in the high slot, then changing direction and beating Anderson with a move at the top of the crease.

Brett McLean and Bryan Berard would score for Chicago to cut the Sharks lead to 5-3, but Jonathan Cheechoo would ice the game with an empty-netter late.

Play of the Game
Korolyuk's goal was one of those Pavel Bure in his prime type of goals. Quickness wrapped with a splash of dipsy-doodle. It also gave the Sharks plenty of breathing room, which was a commodity given that the Sharks had taken a beating less than 24 hours earlier.

The Turning Point
San Jose's ability to outscore the Blackhawks 2-0 in the 2nd period was a key to San Jose's win. San Jose gave up three goals to Nashville on Wednesday night and the 2nd period has been a nightmare of sorts for the Sharks this season. Their ability to buckle down made the final period much easier.

Save of the Game
Nothing to write home about when it came to goaltending in this goal fest. Nabokov wasn't razor sharp, but he did make 31 saves and ke the Sharks out of danger for most of the evening.

Box Scores Do No Justice
Todd Harvey took exception to a second questionable hit by Ruutu midway through the 2nd period. Harvey took matter into his own hands and immediately went after Ruutu after taking a hit in the back similar to the one Ruutu leveled Priessing with in the opening moments of the game.

Honorable Mention
The Sharks penalty kill took another hit, going 1-for-2 on the evening, but the Sharks did also convert on two of seven power play opportunities. The Sharks ranked 21st in the league ont eh power play entering Thursdays action.

"I think it's really tough for them. They lost the top two players on their team and some of their guys are hurting, too. - Marco Sturm

"Say what you want to say, some of our older guys were sloppy tonight. Every goal they scored was sloppy. There were turnovers and mistakes." - Chicago head coach Brian Sutter

"That was such a blatant hit from behind. He (Ruutu) left his feet and you could tag on a bunch of other things and you knock a guys out." - Sharks head coach Ron Wilson

Sturm finished the game with a goal and two assists. He has three goals and four assists in his last four games.

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