Final

Series (Game 3 of 4)

San Jose leads 3-1

Game 1: Friday, October 7th
Sharks3Final
Blackhawks6
Game 2: Saturday, October 15th
Blackhawks3Final
Sharks4
Game 3: Wednesday, February 8th
Blackhawks1Final
Sharks2
Game 4: Sunday, March 26th
Sharks5Final
OT
Blackhawks4

Blackhawks 1

(18-30-7, 43 pts)

Sharks 2

(25-21-8, 58 pts)

10:30 PM ET, February 8, 2006

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
CHI 0 1 01
SJ 2 0 02

C. Anderson (Blackhawks - G): Saves: 35, Save Pct.: .946

V. Toskala (Sharks - G): Saves: 29, Save Pct.: .967

P. Marleau (Sharks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Marleau, Thornton help Sharks snap home losing skid

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- After watching the opposing goalie make so many saves in the first two periods, Vesa Toskala figured it was his turn in the third.

Toskala made 14 of his 29 stops in the final period, helping the San Jose Sharks end a four-game losing streak at home with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

"We got 30 shots in the first two periods and I thought the other guy was unbelievable," Toskala said of his counterpart, Craig Anderson. "I only faced about 10 shots so I spent most of the time watching him stand on his head. I was still ready, though."

Toskala is 6-0-2 in his last eight games after beginning the season with five straight losses.

"We got tentative for the last 25 minutes, but fortunately Tosk was unbelievable," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "It was a tough game for him. He didn't see the rubber a lot early and it's hard to keep your focus."

Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton scored in a 45-second span, and the Sharks won for just the second time in eight games overall.

Kyle Calder scored for the Blackhawks, who were coming off a win at Phoenix on Tuesday night. They have not won two in a row since Dec. 7-11.

Anderson, who has been with three teams in less than a month, made 35 saves but fell to 0-3 against the Sharks.

"Anytime you see a lot of shots and only give up two goals, that's a good night," said Anderson, who had 31 saves in the win over the Coyotes. "They have a very potent offense."

Steve Bernier set up San Jose's first goal, winning a battle for the puck with Patrick Sharp behind the net and skating it out before passing to Marleau, who followed his own shot and slipped the puck past Anderson on his glove side with 2:47 left in the first period.

"We thought they might be a little tired after playing last night so we tried to work the defense as much as we could," Bernier said. "Patty did a good job of getting his own rebound."

Marleau scored in his second straight after going scoreless in his six previous games. Bernier got his second career assist, both on this homestand.

Thornton redirected a puck through Anderson's legs with 2:02 left in the first period, moments after winning a faceoff. Christian Ehrhoff chased down the puck and passed to Tom Preissing, who fired the puck toward the goal. Thornton redirected it from just outside the crease.

"We controlled the game for 35 minutes and should have been up 4, 5 or 6-0," Wilson said. "Then they scored. But we're confident with Tosk. He stepped right in there."

Calder drove straight at Toskala after taking a pass from Tyler Arnason and chipped a shot over the goalie's right shoulder using just his right hand. James Wisniewski earned his first career point when he was credited with an assist on the play.

"Our goalie kept us in it and we had a ton of chances in the third period," said Chicago's new captain, Martin Lapointe. "We just couldn't score."

The Sharks improved to 15-0 when scoring the first two goals of a game.

The Blackhawks were on relatively good behavior. The most penalized team in the NHL took just 10 penalty minutes before a fight at the end of the game.

Game notes


Arnason has four assists in his last five games. ... Preissing had his first assist in nine games and needs one to match his season best of 17. ... After playing only road games in February, the Blackhawks play 10 of their 15 games in March at home. ... The Sharks have beaten Chicago nine of the last 10 meetings in San Jose. ... Marleau's 11 goals against the Blackhawks are his most against any team other than Edmonton (12).

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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