SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Though Patrick Marleau was just trying to put the puck on net, the San Jose Sharks' captain somehow found the only sliver of space between goalie Craig Anderson and the post.
With 44 shots and a steady stream of scoring chances, the Sharks were bound to get at least one fortunate goal -- and Marleau's second power-play score turned out to be the difference in the Sharks' 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.
Marco Sturm had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Cheechoo also scored as the Sharks won their third straight and avenged a 6-3 loss at Chicago last week with more of the up-tempo hockey they love.
Less than three minutes after Marleau snapped San Jose's 0-for-12 power-play drought in the second period, he added another goal on what seemed to be an exceptional shot past Anderson's short side moments after a 5-on-3 advantage ended.
Not true, Marleau said: He was simply trying to maintain the pressure that's necessary to win in the new NHL.
"With those new rules, you can't sit back and protect a lead," said Marleau, who has four goals and two assists in San Jose's five games. "You've got to keep going after it, keep gunning and trying to score whenever you can."
Evgeni Nabokov made 24 saves and Brad Stuart had two assists for the Sharks, who held on through a scoreless third period to remain unbeaten at home this season.
Despite an impressive effort from Anderson, who stopped 40 shots in his first start of the season, Chicago fell to 1-4-3-1 in its last nine trips to the Shark Tank.
"I've never seen 15 or 16 more shots in a game before," Anderson said of the Blackhawks' 44-27 shot disadvantage. "Forty-four, that tires you out. But the more shots you see, the sharper you are."
The power play was the only aspect of San Jose's attack that hasn't worked well this season: The Sharks were 3-for-29 with the man-advantage before Marleau's first goal.
Sharks coach Ron Wilson praised Anderson's effort, but still found fault in his team's high-energy effort.
"We didn't move the puck quickly enough against a pressure team," Wilson said. "Sometimes you need to have games where guys go off on their plan. Then they realize they can't do it and still win a game."
Matt Ellison scored his first NHL goal and Jason Morgan got the second of his career for the Blackhawks, who lost for the third time in four games. Chicago managed just six shots in the third period, spending too much time chasing the Sharks instead of mounting its own attack.
"We have to check smarter when we're in the penalty-kill," Chicago coach Trent Yawney said. "I thought in the third period, we had the momentum, but we took a couple of penalties and then the momentum shifted, and the Sharks got it back."
San Jose went up 2-0 on first-period goals by Sturm and Cheechoo, who batted the puck out of the air on a rebound.
Matthew Barnaby was awarded a tying goal in the second period -- nearly 2 minutes after he scored it. His quick wraparound shot slid straight through the goal and out the back because the net was raised, but the officials didn't immediately realize what happened.
Play continued for at least 90 seconds -- but after video review at the next stoppage, officials awarded the goal to Barnaby and reset the clock.
More weirdness was in store: Chicago pulled within 4-3 on Ellison's goal during a 6-on-5 delayed penalty -- and moments after Nabokov broke his own stick while slashing a Chicago forward. Ellison, a fourth-round pick in 2002 with 15 previous games of NHL experience, slipped the puck past the stickless goalie.
Chicago captain Adrian Aucoin missed his fourth straight game with a strained groin. ... Stanley Cup-winning G Nikolai Khabibulin started the Blackhawks' first five games, going 2-3 with an unimpressive .866 save percentage. ... The Sharks open a six-game road trip -- their longest of the season -- Monday at Detroit.
|San Jose (3-2-0) «||2||2||0||4|
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|02:34||Marco Sturm (3), Wrist Shot - Assists: Milan Michalek and Patrick Marleau|
|10:23||Jonathan Cheechoo (2), Tip-In - Assists: Wayne Primeau and Mark Smith|
|16:55||Jason Morgan, Tip-In - Assists: Mark Bell and Mikael Holmqvist|
|03:18||Matthew Barnaby, Backhand Shot - Assists: Jim Dowd and Matt Ellison|
|07:51||Power Play - Patrick Marleau (3), Slap Shot - Assists: Marco Sturm and Brad Stuart|
|10:37||Power Play - Patrick Marleau (4), Slap Shot - Assists: Niko Dimitrakos and Brad Stuart|
|18:16||Matt Ellison, Slap Shot - Assists: Jim Dowd and Jassen Cullimore|
|07:00||Sturm: Interference - 2 min.|
|10:59||Stuart: Boarding - 2 min.|
|12:14||Arnason: Hooking - 2 min.|
|12:51||Bell: Slashing - 2 min.|
|14:31||Thornton: High sticking - 2 min.|
|03:18||Morgan: Tripping - 2 min.|
|06:41||Vorobiev: Hooking - 2 min.|
|08:32||Spacek: Hooking - 2 min.|
|09:09||Cullimore: Tripping - 2 min.|
|11:23||Thornton: Interference - 2 min.|
|14:52||Fahey: Hooking - 2 min.|
|04:44||Dowd: Holding - 2 min.|
|06:35||Seabrook: Interference - 2 min.|
|10:48||Arnason: Hooking - 2 min.|
|11:33||Sturm: High sticking - 2 min.|
|14:06||Simpson: Hooking - 2 min.|
|17:03||Vorobiev: Hooking - 2 min.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
|Attendance - 17496|
|Game Time - 60:00|
|Referees - Dave Jackson, Chris Rooney|
|Line Judges - Vaughan Rody, Mark Wheler|