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Brad Winchester helps Blues knock off Sharks in shootout

NHL.com @NHL

ST. LOUIS - Brad Winchester tied it in the second period, and scored the deciding goal on his first shootout chance of the season, helping the St. Louis Blues beat the high-flying San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Saturday night.

David Perron added his first goal in 19 games for St. Louis, which had lost seven of its previous eight. The Blues ended a seven-game losing streak against the Sharks, who have been the NHL's best team the first three months.

Jonathan Cheechoo and Mike Grier each had a goal and assist, and Joe Thornton had two assists for the Sharks, 27-4-4 but only 2-2-1 in their last five games. The Sharks have been put to the test in all three meetings against the Blues, with a pair of 5-4 victories earlier in the season, and fell to 3-1 in shootouts.

Perron also beat Evgeni Nabokov in the shootout for St. Louis, while Ryan Clowe scored on a backhander for San Jose. Manny Legace also stopped Danny Boyle and clinched it with a stop on Joe Pavelski.

Nabokov stuffed Keith Tkachuk on a breakaway in the final minute of overtime, apparently believing he was beaten when he glanced behind into the net, and also stopped two nice chances by David Backes.

The Blues announced near the end of the first period that left wing Paul Kariya would undergo surgery on his left hip and would be sidelined indefinitely. Kariya, who has 15 points in 11 games, has already missed 24 games after taking a hit from behind at Anaheim on Nov. 5.

Coming off his 33rd career shutout and with three days' rest, Nabokov gave up a goal on the first shot of the game. Perron broke free after Patrik Berglund checked Douglas Murray off the puck for his third goal of the season at the 57-second mark.

The Blues dominated the first period-and-a-half with a 16-4 advantage in shots, including 10-1 in the second period, before three saves by Nabokov on a power play seemed to awaken the Sharks. Cheechoo scored off Thornton's setup from behind the net at 12:21 of the period, and Grier took advantage of a sloppy rebound and scooped a puck sitting next to Legace into the net a little more than five minutes later to put San Jose ahead.

Winchester, who had two goals in a 5-4 loss at San Jose Dec. 13, tied it at the six-minute mark of the third. The forward, one of many fill-ins on a team ravaged by injuries, converted a backhand feed from Yan Stastny.

Notes: Sharks LW Milan Michalek returned after missing three games with an upper body injury. ... Thornton has a goal and five assists in three games against the Blues. ... Berglund has 13 points in his last 15 games for St. Louis. ... The Blues are 13-2-1 when allowing three or fewer goals.

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