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Cheechoo, Michalek lead Sharks to franchise-best 45th victory

Mar 22, 2007 - 4:58 AM
CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek did their best to help the San Jose Sharks set a franchise record.

Cheechoo had two goals and an assist and Michalek also scored twice as the Sharks posted their 45th win of the season, a 4-1 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Joe Thornton added three assists and defenseman Matt Carle set up a pair of goals for San Jose, which eclipsed its single-season high of 44 victories set in 2001-02 and matched last campaign. The Sharks have earned at least one point in each of their last nine games (7-0-2).

The win also moved San Jose (45-25-4) one point ahead of idle Minnesota (43-24-7) for fifth place in the Western Conference.

"Passing Minnesota is big," Cheechoo said. "And we are still looking at (Pacific Division-leading) Anaheim. We just have to keep winning and get help from other teams."

Cheechoo scored the game's initial goal at 7:12 of the first period, slapping a rebound past goaltender Patrick Lalime for his 26th of the season.

After Patrick Sharp tied the contest with 4 1/2 minutes remaining in the session, Michalek gave San Jose the lead for good midway through the second. During a power play, Carle fired a shot from the slot that was blocked by Lalime, but Michalek jammed in the rebound from the right side of the net for a 2-1 edge.

Cheechoo completed his seventh multi-goal performance of the season with a power-play tally less than six minutes into the third, and Michalek capped his third two-goal effort with 7:12 remaining for San Jose, which has won five of its last six games.

With the three assists, Thornton extended his points streak of eight games and raised his season total to 99.

"I have good teammates and I like to pass the puck," Thornton said. "They have done a great job of putting the puck in the net, so I really have to thank them."

The reigning Art Ross Trophy winner, Thornton trails Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby by nine points for the league lead.

"Joe was horse tonight, dominating every shift," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "We need that intensity to carry over. I don't know what some guys are thinking. We can't just ride Joe every night and then suddenly push a button. We need more guys who need to show some passion at the moment."

Evgeni Nabokov stopped 28 shots for the Sharks, who outscored the Blackhawks, 17-4, in sweeping the four-game season series. Nabokov earned his 20th victory, marking the fourth time he has reached the plateau during his seven-year career.

"To be honest, I don't think about my own personal goals," Nabokov said. "I just want to keep winning."

Lalime made 16 saves for Chicago, which has lost seven straight meetings with San Jose.

"We had some chances and opportunities, but we hit the post several times," Blackhawks coach Denis Savard said. "Their goalie played well, but we had our chances to win."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1 2 4
    CHICAGO 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 26 (SCOTT HANNAN, JOE THORNTON) 7:12
    CHI - PATRICK SHARP 17 (MARTIN HAVLAT, RENE BOURQUE) 15:30
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) MILAN MICHALEK 21 (MATTHEW CARLE, CRAIG RIVET)
    10:03
    3RD PRD: SAN - (PP) JON

    Mar 21 10:52 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 4
    CHICAGO 1
    3RD PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 22 (JOE THORNTON, JONATHAN CHEECHOO)
    12:48

    Sharks vs. BlackhawksMar 21 10:39 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 3
    CHICAGO 1
    3RD PRD: SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 27 (MATTHEW CARLE, JOE THORNTON)
    5:43

    Sharks vs. BlackhawksMar 21 10:29 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 1 1 2
    CHICAGO 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 26 (SCOTT HANNAN, JOE THORNTON) 7:12
    CHI - PATRICK SHARP 17 (MARTIN HAVLAT, RENE BOURQUE) 15:30
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) MILAN MICHALEK 21 (MATTHEW CARLE, CRAIG RIVET)
    10:03
    SHOTS ON G

    Mar 21 10:02 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 2
    CHICAGO 1
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) MILAN MICHALEK 21 (MATTHEW CARLE, CRAIG RIVET)
    10:03

    Sharks vs. BlackhawksMar 21 9:47 PM


  • ------------------------
    San Jose
    1 --1
    Chicago 1 --1
    ------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    -----------------------------
    San Jose 7 --7
    Chicago 12 --12
    -----------------------------

    Goalies : San Jose, Evgeni Nabokov (12 shots, 11 saves). Chicago,
    Patrick Lalime (7 shots, 6 saves). Referees: Don Koharski, Rob
    Martell. Linesmen: David Brisebois, M

    Mar 21 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 1
    CHICAGO 1
    1ST PRD: CHI - PATRICK SHARP 17 (MARTIN HAVLAT, RENE BOURQUE) 15:30

    Sharks vs. BlackhawksMar 21 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 1
    CHICAGO 0
    1ST PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 26 (SCOTT HANNAN, JOE THORNTON) 7:12

    Sharks vs. BlackhawksMar 21 8:49 PM