for this game

Toskala, Marleau guide Sharks past Blackhawks

Feb 4, 2007 - 1:21 AM
SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Vesa Toskala not only handled his goaltending duties well, he showed some offensive prowess.

Toskala made 20 saves and recorded two assists and captain Patrick Marleau scored his seventh goal in eight games as the San Jose Sharks halted a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Starting in place of the injured Evgeni Nabokov, Toskala had a hand in both of his team's goals in the first period, becoming the first netminder in franchise history to notch two assists in a game.

"I just left the puck behind the net a couple of times," Toskala said. "But that's OK, I'll take it."

The 29-year-old Finn also played well in net, allowing just one tally in each of the first two sessions before stopping all seven shots he faced in the third to help the Sharks snap both their overall skid and a three-game home slide.

"They got a couple of good scoring chances in the second and third periods, and I'm not that happy with those goals I (allowed)," Toskala said. "That first one, I was there, but it went under my arm, and the second one, I was running out a little too hard and lost my balance. Other than that, I made good saves and felt good."

Marcel Goc and former Blackhawk Curtis Brown helped San Jose build a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes, but All-Star Martin Havlat drew Chicago even midway through the second period. But Marleau, who entered with goals in each of his last two contests, netted his 27th of the season with just over five minutes to go in the session to put the Sharks ahead for good.

"There were times where (the Blackhawks) were pouring it on and we took a back seat," Brown said. "But I think our leaders stepped up. They were vocal on the bench, talking about getting back on it. That's what happened to us against Dallas (on Thursday), we went to sleep and never woke again. I think we responded well (today) and did what we had to do to get the two points."

Milan Michalek sealed the win halfway through the third for San Jose, which has scored two goals or fewer in four of its previous five games.

"That was a workmanlike effort," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "It was nice to see Milan score the goal and skate the way he can skate because he hasn't played very well recently. But tonight, he had his wheels going and was forcing the issue on the forecheck. That kind of speed is intimidating, and he wasn't using it."

Tuomo Ruutu had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who had won two in a row following a 10-game losing streak.

"This is the best team we've played by far this year," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "They've come off a couple of losses here, and great teams respond. They responded and we had a really tough time matching their intensity, matching every area of their game."

Goc opened the scoring 1:54 into the contest as Patrick Rissmiller chased down a dump-in behind the net and backhanded the puck into the slot. Goc grabbed it and lifted a backhander past goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin for a shorthanded goal.

Ruutu knotted it at 1-1 at 9:02, beating Toskala to the short side with a shot from low in the left faceoff circle. But Brown restored San Jose's lead with his first tally in 22 games, beating a defender to the puck in the right circle to negate an icing call and putting a backhander just under the crossbar with 78 seconds to go in the first.

"Everyone was kind of changing and I was able to jump out there," Brown said. "(Defenseman Scott) Hannan threw a puck to me that I tried to catch as a pass that got by me, and I chased it down. The way it bounced, I said, 'Why not?'"

Havlat again tied the game with 8:46 left in the middle session with his third goal in five contests. After controlling a bouncing puck in the slot, Havlat skated to the right side and pulled Toskala out of the net before tucking it in at the right goalpost.

"For whatever reason, we started sitting back and caving a little bit, especially in the defensive zone," Wilson said.

Marleau dashed Chicago's hopes less than four minutes later, burying the rebound of rookie Ryane Clowe's shot from the right circle at 14:51 for a 3-2 edge.

Blackhawks defenseman Adrian Aucoin returned to the lineup after missing eight games with a pulled groin. The captain took 27 shifts, playing a total of 23 minutes, 9 seconds.

"We lost a game, so it's very disappointing, but you're always happy to get back into the game," Aucoin said. "Physically, I was all right and did OK. But I think I've got to do better. When I play better, it gives us a better chance to win."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 1 1 0 2
    SAN JOSE 2 1 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - (SH) MARCEL GOC 5 (PAT RISSMILLER, VESA TOSKALA) 1:54
    CHI - TUOMO RUUTU 12 (PATRICK SHARP, JAMES WISNIEWSKI) 9:02
    SAN - CURTIS BROWN 7 (SCOTT HANNAN, VESA TOSKALA) 18:42
    2ND PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT 17 (TUOMO RU

    Feb 3 6:29 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    SAN JOSE 4
    3RD PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 14 (JONATHAN CHEECHOO) 11:54

    Blackhawks vs. SharksFeb 3 6:15 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 1 1 2
    SAN JOSE 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - (SH) MARCEL GOC 5 (PAT RISSMILLER, VESA TOSKALA) 1:54
    CHI - TUOMO RUUTU 12 (PATRICK SHARP, JAMES WISNIEWSKI) 9:02
    SAN - CURTIS BROWN 7 (SCOTT HANNAN, VESA TOSKALA) 18:42
    2ND PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT

    Feb 3 5:36 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    SAN JOSE 3
    2ND PRD: SAN - PATRICK MARLEAU 27 (RYANE CLOWE, JOE THORNTON) 14:51

    Blackhawks vs. SharksFeb 3 5:28 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    SAN JOSE 2
    2ND PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT 17 (TUOMO RUUTU) 11:14

    Blackhawks vs. SharksFeb 3 5:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 1 1
    SAN JOSE 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - (SH) MARCEL GOC 5 (PAT RISSMILLER, VESA TOSKALA) 1:54
    CHI - TUOMO RUUTU 12 (PATRICK SHARP, JAMES WISNIEWSKI) 9:02
    SAN - CURTIS BROWN 7 (SCOTT HANNAN, VESA TOSKALA) 18:42
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2

    Feb 3 4:43 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    SAN JOSE 2
    1ST PRD: SAN - CURTIS BROWN 7 (SCOTT HANNAN, VESA TOSKALA) 18:42

    Blackhawks vs. SharksFeb 3 4:43 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    SAN JOSE 1
    1ST PRD: CHI - TUOMO RUUTU 12 (PATRICK SHARP, JAMES WISNIEWSKI) 9:02

    Blackhawks vs. SharksFeb 3 4:26 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 0
    SAN JOSE 1
    1ST PRD: SAN - (SH) MARCEL GOC 5 (PAT RISSMILLER, VESA TOSKALA) 1:54

    Blackhawks vs. SharksFeb 3 4:13 PM