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Thornton helps Sharks slip past Chicago

Dec 31, 2010 - 4:33 AM
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Joe Thornton scored the game-winning goal in the third period to lift San Jose to a 5-3 win over Chicago at United Center.

Scott Nichol, Benn Ferriero, Dany Heatley and Ryane Clowe added goals for the Sharks, who ended a two-game slide. Dan Boyle and Marc-Edouard Vlasic both added a pair of assists in the victory.

Antti Niemi turned aside 26 to earn his third victory of the season against the team he backstopped to the Stanley Cup title last season.

Patrick Sharp, Troy Brouwer and Brian Campbell posted goals for the Blackhawks, who have dropped two in a row following a four-game win streak.

Marty Turco stopped 20-of-24 shots in defeat.

Thornton was stationed in front when he tipped home Vlasic's point shot 7:13 into the final period to put the Sharks ahead, 4-3. Clowe added an empty-net goal with 48 seconds remaining to sew up the victory.

Sharp's wrist shot from below the left circle put the hosts on the board 15:44 into the game before Vlasic's outlet pass led Nichol up the right side from where he blasted a slap shot past Turco from the circle with 66 ticks left in the period to even the score.

San Jose took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play early in the middle session to grab the lead when Logan Couture slid a cross-ice pass to Ferriero, who roofed a wrist shot over a sprawling Turco from the left doorstep at 1:45.

Heatley added another power play tally with a wrist shot that beat Turco at 13:46 before the hosts scored twice in the final 30 seconds of the period to knot the score.

Brouwer's power play wrister at 19:37 made it a 3-2 game before Campbell took a feed between the circles and wristed it past Niemi with 0.5 seconds to go in the session.

Game Notes

Thornton has 11 goals and 40 points in 33 games versus Chicago...Nichol's goal was just his second in 35 matches against the Blackhawks...Turco is 24-16-5 in 46 games against the Sharks...Campbell's goal was his second in 15 meetings with San Jose.