Sullivan had been struggling for much of 2003 before getting eight goals in the last three games. He had scored just three in his previous 30 contests.
“Seven goals in nine periods? Maybe in Pee Wees,” Sullivan said when asked of the last time he went on this kind of scoring binge. “I couldn’t score for 15 games. The puck wouldn’t go in so I’ll take this stretch for sure.”
The 10-year veteran leads the Blackhawks with 23 goals, the second-highest total of his career.
Sullivan’s outburst has helped Chicago win two of three, but that stretch follows a nine-game losing streak which devastated its playoff hopes.
The Blackhawks are 10th in the Western Conference with 11 games to play, one spot and four points ahead of the Sharks.
Any small chance San Jose had of claiming a postseason berth likely went by the wayside after losing six of seven games in March before Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Calgary.
Toskala, recalled from Cleveland of the AHL two days earlier, made 32 saves in his first appearance with San Jose since Oct. 21. The highlight came in the third period when Toskala, protecting a one-goal lead, stopped Jarome Iginla on the first penalty shot he has ever faced in the NHL.
“People will remember the penalty shot but he was pretty solid throughout,” Wilson said. We didn’t play well in front of him in the first period but we came through for him.”
STANDINGS (through March 16): Blackhawks - 67 points, 4th place, 29 PB, Central Division. Sharks - 64 points, 5th place, 31 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Blackhawks - Sullivan, 23 goals and 53 points; Alex Zhamnov, 38 assists; Chris Simon, 126 PIM. Sharks - Teemu Selanne, 25 goals and 57 points; Vincent Damphousse, 34 assists; Todd Harvey, 70 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 16): Blackhawks - Power play: 11.7 percent (32 for 274), 29th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.4 percent (274 for 321), 6th. Sharks - Power play: 18.2 percent (60 for 330), 7th. Penalty killing: 80.7 percent (255 for 316), 30th.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 14; Sharks, 4-2. At Chicago, Damphousse snapped a 2-2 tie with a five-on-three power-play goal with 5:06 left, then Scott Thornton scored during a one-man advantage 41 seconds later.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blackhawks - 11-17-6-3 on the road; Sharks - 15-14-4-1 at home.