CHICAGO (AP) -- Rookie Pavel Vorobiev found himself on the
Blackhawks' first line on Friday night and responded like a
Inserted at left wing alongside Tyler Arnason and Tuomo Ruutu,
Vorobiev had two goals and an assist as Chicago defeated the San
Jose Sharks 6-3 on Friday night.
Vorobiev, who entered the game with one goal and three assists
in 19 NHL contests, was a last-minute substitute on the line for
Daze tweaked his back in the pregame warm up, Blackhawks coach
Trent Yawney said. Daze had surgery to repair herniated discs in
his back three times in five years.
Yawney coached Vorobiev for two years at Norfolk of the AHL and
wasn't surprised by the winger's performance.
"He's a world-class player and makes world-class plays and
showed that again," said Yawney, who earned his first NHL coaching
victory. "He's just starting to evolve.
"It's just the tip of the iceberg. I've seen him play some
games in the minors when he was just totally dominating."
Vorobiev, 23, said just shooting more -- something Yawney has
stressed to him -- paid off against San Jose.
"Now I feel more comfortable and have more confidence,"
Vorobiev said. "It doesn't matter where I play. I'm going to play
my game, my way.
"I try to shoot the puck more now and it's OK."
Jim Vandermeer, Tuomo Ruutu, Tyler Arnason and Jassen Cullimore
also scored and defenseman Brent Seabrook had four assists as
Chicago clicked for three power-play goals -- including two 5-on-3
conversions -- in seven chances.
Seabrook tied the Blackhawks records for assists and points in a
game by a rookie.
"The guys were sharp on the power play," Seabrook said. "In
the new NHL, that's the way you've got to be, you've got to bury
your chances. I just distributed the puck, and the guys did the
Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 21 shots to earn his first victory
with Chicago. Khabibulin, who backstopped Tampa Bay to the Stanley
Cup title in 2004, signed a four-year, $27 million deal with the
Blackhawks in August.
"It's always good to get the first one for everybody's
confidence," said Khabibulin, who gave up five goals on 24 shots
in a loss to Anaheim on Wednesday. "The last game wasn't good for
us. Tonight we got a good break with the power plays early on."
"It wasn't exactly the start we wanted," coach Ron Wilson
said. "The first shot went in, we misread an assignment and then
we got ourselves in penalty trouble."
Vesa Toskala started in goal for the Sharks, but was replaced by
Evgeni Nabokov at 1:49 of the second period after allowing four
goals on 14 shots. Nabokov gave up two goals on 12 shots.
"Partly he (Toskala) wasn't seeing it, but partly he was a
victim of circumstance," Wilson said. "The first goal he was
screened and the last goal he was screened. The other two were
5-on-3s, it was kind of a mercy pull."
The Sharks went 2-for-8 on the power play.
The Blackhawks led 3-0 at 7:21 of the first period.
Vandermeer opened the scoring just 29 seconds in with a 40-foot
shot that sailed just beyond Toskala's outstretched glove.
A pair of 5-on-3 goals, scored by Ruutu and Arnason 90 seconds
apart, made it 3-0.
After a quick fake, Ruutu ripped a shot from the slot over
Toskala's glove at 5:51 to make it 2-0. Arnason then fired
Vorobiev's pass from across the slot in off the inside of Toskala's
right pad at 7:21.
Cullimore extended the lead to 4-0 at 1:49 of the second with a
power-play goal from the left point.
Following the goal -- and with Chicago holding a 14-2 shots
advantage -- Nabokov replaced Toskala.
Sturm pounced on a rebound of Scott Hannan's shot for a
power-play goal at 5:14 to cut it to 4-1.
Vorobiev replied at 8:45 to make it 5-1. His second goal at 1:33
of the third came when he beat Nabokov on the short side from the
top of the right circle.
McLaren fired in a loose rebound at 2:01 to make it 6-2.
Michalek completed the scoring with a power-play goal with 2:34
Chicago D Adrian Aucoin played only four minutes because of
a groin injury. He is day to day. ... Blackhawks D Jaroslav Spacek
missed his second game with sore ribs. ... San Jose D Josh Gorges,
21, played in his first NHL game. ... The game drew an announced
crowd of 11,823. The Blackhawks' opener on Wednesday drew 16,533.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: United Center Location: Chicago, Illinois
Referees: Dan O'Halloran, Dan O'Rourke Linesmen: Lyle Seitz, Mark Wheler
Attendance: 11,823 (60.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Jim Vandermeer (1)
Assists: Matthew Barnaby, Martin Lapointe