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Exacting some revenge
Sharks get physical in 5-2 win over Blackhawks
11/24/10 - By Mike Lee -

There were so many sub-plots in Wednesday night's Sharks - Blackhawks contest that it was easy to forget there was actually a game to be played. Facing the Blackhawks for the first time since being ousted from last spring's Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Sharks had a few debts to settle. Sharks netminder Antti Niemi was also facing his former team since he was let go because of salary cap issues last summer.

San Jose let out their frustrations early with a physical game rarely seen at HP Pavilion, then put a flurry of pucks past former Dallas Stars netminder Marty Turco in a 5-2 victory.

There was no mistaking the physicality exerted by the Sharks from the opening faceoff. Ryane Clowe would draw a boarding penalty just 56 seconds into the game and the tone was set. Even Patrick Marleau got in on the act, nailing Jack Skille with a hip check not seen in San Jose since Kyle McLaren left town.

The Sharks opened the game's scoring by outworking their opponent in the Chicago zone. Devin Setoguchi intercepted a centering pass between the circles, then whiffed on a shot attempt that slid the puck over to Joe Thornton. The Sharks centerman circled around the back of the Blackhawks net and sent a backhand pass to Dany Heatley, who deposited his 8th goal of the season past Marty Turco.

The Sharks fourth liners would extend San Jose's lead to 2-0 at 2:37 of the 2nd period. Mayers, rookie John McCarthy and Scott Nichol teamed up to pound a goal past Turco after the Sharks grinders out-hustled the Chicago defense to the puck. Nichol drew two defenders over to the left corner, before doubling back to the goal. McCarthy grabbed a loose puck two strides outside the left post, before sliding a pass back to Mayers for the one-time chance. It was Mayers first tally as a Shark.

It would take the Blackhawks fourth line to get Chicago on the board, coming 31 seconds after Mayer's goal. Jake Dowell was credited with the score after driving on net and deflecting his own shot with a skate past Niemi. Doewll tried to feed Skille who was crashing the net, but the puck pin-balled off Skille's skate then Dowell's before slipping inside the left post.

Joe Pavelski would answer Dowell's goal 90 seconds later on the power play after Dave Bolland was sent off for cross checking. The Sharks centerman intercepted a clearing attempt by Duncan Keith at the blueline then sent a 60-foot wrist shot from the top of the right circle past Turco for his 7th goal of the season.

San Jose got themselves into a little hot water midway through the period when Scott Nichol was sent off for roughing, and Torrey Mitchell followed him to the box a minute later. The Sharks did a nice job of keeping the league's 3rd ranked power play form taking advantage of the abridged 5-on-3 by moving the puck between the three skaters on the ice.

Chicago cut the San Jose lead back to a single goal 4 minutes into the 3rd period when Patrick Shark deflected a long slap shot by Nick Boynton. The redirection crossed up Niemi, catching the top left corner of the net. The goal was Sharp's 13th of the season.

Dowell committed the first penalty of the period, heaving the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty. San Jose would cash in when Thornton hit Patrick Marleau in stride as the speedy forward entered the Chicago zone. Marleau crossed up Jason Cullimore and got a step on him, before snapping his 9th goal of the season past Turco for the 4-2 lead.

Bryan Bickell sealed the Blackhawks fate by taking a holding penalty with 4:49 to play, then taking on another two minutes for chirping at the referees.

Marleau would tack on an empty net goal with 2.7 seconds left in regulation after beating former Sharks deenseman Brian Campbell to a loose puck.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
CHI 0 1 1 2
SJ 1 2 2 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Heatley 8 (Thornton, Setoguchi), 13:24.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Mayers 1 (McCarthy, Nichol), 2:37. 3, CHI, Dowell 4 (Skille, Brouwer), 3:08. 4, SJ, Pavelski 7 (unassisted), 4:38, (pp).
3rd period - 5, CHI, Sharp 13 (Boynton, Hossa), 3:58. 6, SJ, Marleau 9 (Thornton, Boyle), 13:37, (pp). 7, SJ, Marleau 10 (Clowe, Pavelski), 19:57, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Clowe, SJ (boarding), 0:56.
2nd period - Bolland, CHI (cross checking), 4:00; Marleau, SJ (boarding), 5:06; Brouwer, CHI (fighting major), 8:15; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 8:15; Nichol, SJ (roughing), 11:39; Mithchell, SJ (tripping), 12:55; Campbell, CHI (hooking), 15:17; Kopecky, CHI (high sticking), 19:50.
3rd period - Dowell, CHI (delay of game - puck over glass), 12:51; Bickell, CHI (holding), 15:11; Bickell, CHI (unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:11.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
CHI - Turco 29 25
CHI - empty net 1 0
SJ - Niemi 32 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CHI 12 8 12 32
SJ 10 13 6 29
Power Play Conversion
CHI 0 of 4
SJ 2 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Antti Niemi
Douglas Murray
Scott Nichol
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: O'Rourke, Charron. Linesmen: Heyer, Wheler.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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