Blackhawks Have Super Saturday in San Jose

Beat Sharks 4-2

A big win in San Jose means a pleasant day off to enjoy the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

The Chicago Blackhawks might feel as if they hit the jackpot after beating the Sharks 4-2 on Saturday night, their first win in San Jose in nearly six years.

"We can be happy about this win and celebrate it the next few days," Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews said after scoring twice. "We played a solid game from start to finish and now it's time to take our game to another level."

Kris Versteeg and Duncan Keith also scored to help the Blackhawks win for the second time in five games. Nikolai Khabibulin made 33 saves for his second straight win.

Versteeg wasn't sure he could answer a question about his personal itinerary in Las Vegas, where the team plans to watch the Super Bowl and "hang out, enjoy it."

Wing Patrick Sharp was a little more forthcoming, saying he was going to "watch some football and go to the spa."

Christian Erhoff and Milan Michalek scored for the Sharks, who lost for the second time in 27 home games and had a 13-game unbeaten streak over Chicago stopped. Evgeni Nabokov's franchise-record scoreless streak ended at 170:58 on Toews' goal 48 seconds into the game.

"The tempo of the game was in their favor and special teams were in their favor," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We're going to put our work boots back on and do a lot of skating."

Chicago, coming off a 5-2 loss in Los Angeles on Thursday night, played crisp, sharp hockey from the drop of the puck.

"That's the best team in the league and it was a great start for us," Chicago defender Brent Seabrook said. "We got one right off the bat and carried it through."

The Blackhawks were looking for a quick start against one of the top teams in the NHL. Despite owning the fourth best record in the Western Conference, Chicago was winless in six games against division leaders Detroit and San Jose.

"It was a huge game for us," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "We played with a lot of enthusiasm, we were on the puck and had good speed. All aspects of our game was rock solid."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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