Sharks snap 4-game losing streak

The San Jose Sharks scored twice in the second period to snap a
1-1 tie and went on to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 at HP
Pavilion Tuesday night
SAN JOSE – The San Jose Sharks scored twice in the second period to snap a 1-1 tie and went on to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 at HP Pavilion Tuesday night.

The win left San Jose with 59 points after 48 games, good for third place in the bunched Pacific Division.

Columbus rallied past Dallas 4-2 to keep the Pacific Division-pacing Stars at 61 points after 52 games. Columbus slipped into ninth place with 54 points, five behind the Sharks. Anaheim is second with 60.

San Jose used a short-handed goal and a power play goal to break a 1-1 tie created after one period.

Joe Pavelski netted the short-hander at the 13:14 mark of the second. Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff chipped the puck out of the San Jose zone as the hosts defended the Chicago power play. Pavelski beat Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook to the puck near the blueline, the broke free toward the Hawks net and softly back-handed a shot from 10 feet out past goalie Patrick Lalime.

“I had the feeling (Kane) might not have felt me coming, and by then it was too late,” Pavelski said of the tie-breaking effort.

Ehrhoff collected his first goal of the season, 17th of his career, during a Sharks power play. Ehrhoff and Matt Carle played catch with the puck along the Hawks blueline before Ehrhoff one-timed a winner into the top left corner of the net at the 15:58 mark.

Chicago responded with Adam Birsh’s first career goal in 58 games, a tally right after the Hawks killed a San Jose power play at 11:18 of the third period.

“We had to find a way to win,” said Sharks coach Ron Wilson. “This was an ugly win. Our power play and penalty kill decided the game. Joe (Thornton) did a great job screening the goalie (on Ehrhoff’s goal). The goalie never saw it coming – a great play.”

The Blackhawks, beginning the night in the cellar of the Central Division, scored a goal on their fourth shot on net, 4:49 into play.

San Jose defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh attempted to clear a rebound by backhanding the puck hard along the left boards. Chicago’s Brent Sopel stopped the puck and then sent a hard shot on net that bounded off the legpad of goalie Evgeni Nabokov. Hawk rookie winger Jack Skille, playing in his 12th National Hockey League game, controlled the puck in the high slot and banged home the shot inside the right post for his third goal of the season.

Ozolinsh scored the equalizer at the 13:39 mark of the same period on a San Jose power play.

Hawk center Tuomo Ruutu was whistled for high-sticking San Jose’s Devin Setoguchi at 13:10. The Sharks needed 29 seconds to draw even. Craig Rivet dished a soft shot to Ozolinsh in the left-winger circle. Ozolinsh dipped around Sopel, then backhanded a 15-footer inside the left post from the high slot.

The Sharks host St. Louis Thursday night, one day after the Blues play in Vancouver.

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