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Sharks 2, Blackhawks 1 (SO)

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Forwards Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton all converted in the shootout as the San Jose Sharks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Saturday.

Goaltender Antti Niemi stopped winger Patrick Sharp after allowing a shootout goal to center Jonathan Toews as San Jose snapped a three-game losing streak while beating Chicago for the second straight time in a shootout.

The Sharks outshot the Blackhawks 36-29 through regulation and produced three of the overtime's four shots.

The scoreless tie was broken in the third period as each team wound up finding the back of the net on the same Chicago power play.

With San Jose defenseman Brad Stuart off for hooking winger Patrick Kane, Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan picked off Sharp's long bank pass through center and hit Pavelski with a 40 pass through the neutral zone. Pavelski calmed the bounce puck, fought off Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith, and scored his 29th goal while short-handed at 6:10.

The lead was short-lived as right winger Brandon Saad potted his 18th goal 63 seconds later on the same Chicago man-advantage. Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook made a nice play to keep the puck alive at the San Jose blue line moments earlier.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford robbed a pinching Stuart at one end, and Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival rang a drive off the post behind Sharks goalie Antti Niemi at the other.

Chicago outshot San Jose 13-11 in a scoreless second period that featured tight-checking and a handful of quality scoring chances in a game that was as entertaining as a 0-0 battle could be after 40 minutes.

The Blackhawks struggled with two more power plays, putting just one shot on goal on each effort as the Sharks' remained staunch penalty killers.

San Jose, meanwhile, was dangerous with the man-advantage, but just couldn't solve Crawford. The Sharks peppered the Chicago goal for three shots during a mid-period too-many-men minor while possessing the puck in the Blackhawks' end for the first 76 seconds of the power play.

The teams traded quality scoring chances in the second half of the opening period after the first 10 minutes featured only a combined total of five shots.

A drive by Kane from the high slot hit something on the way in before caroming off of the left post at mid-period.

Niemi made a splendid left-pad save to rob right winger Ben Smith at 8:25 as Chicago's fourth line had several long cycles ending with chances early on.

Four minutes later San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle rang a shot off of Crawford and the crossbar. After the Blackhawks managed one shot during a Marleau minor, the Sharks went to work with a late-period power play.

Right winger Brent Burns had two shots from the high slot during the first 10 seconds of the 5-on-4 swallowed up by Crawford, who also foiled Thornton on an attempted weak-side tip of a Marleau drive at 19:01.

NOTES: The Sharks learned Saturday that injured C Logan Couture likely will not return until after the Olympic break. Couture missed his 13th straight game on Saturday after undergoing hand surgery early last month. Recovering from the right-hand repair was expected to be a minimum of 3-4 weeks. ... San Jose RW Tyler Kennedy missed a second straight game because of a lower-body injury. Kennedy said he felt a "pull" during the Jan. 29 game in Edmonton, in which he did not return. ... C John McCarthy cleared waivers and was assigned to the Sharks' AHL affiliate Worcester. ... Struggling Chicago RW Bryan Bickel was a healthy scratch for a second straight game. D Sheldon Brookbank and D Michael Kostka did not dress for Chicago. ... The Blackhawks continue their second seven-game road trip of the season with stop No. 4 in Los Angeles on Monday. ... The Sharks continue their pre-Olympic break homestand with a game on Monday against Philadelphia. ... D Jason Demers was a healthy scratch for San Jose.
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