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Chicago Blackhawks vs. San Jose Sharks

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GAME: Chicago Blackhawks (2-3-0) at San Jose Sharks (2-2-0).

TIME: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. EDT.

The San Jose Sharks will shoot for their third straight win and try to avenge their most recent loss when they host the Chicago Blackhawks.

San Jose won its home opener 4-1 over Columbus on Wednesday. Wayne Primeau scored twice, including the Sharks' final goal in a second period in which they peppered the struggling Blue Jackets with 22 shots.

"If you're a defenseman, it's pretty hard to stand up on some of our guys with the speed they have," said left wing Scott Thornton, who also scored his first goal. "We have the speed and the skill to really get down there and get the puck on the net over and over again. The way the game is being officiated now, we're going to be tough to stop."

The lone negative was the Sharks' power play, which went 0-for-9. San Jose has converted only three of 26 chances with the man advantage.

Sharks winger Jonathan Cheechoo had two assists Wednesday, and has three points in San Jose's two victories. He has failed to produce a point in the Sharks' two losses, including a 6-3 loss at Chicago on Oct. 7.

Cheechoo managed only one shot in that game, and finished at minus-3.

The Blackhawks scored on all three chances in the shootout to post a 3-2 victory at Colorado on Friday. Nikolai Khabibulin came up with his best effort of the young season with 27 saves.

Chicago rookie right wing Pavel Vorobiev was held without a point for the first time since a season-opening loss to Anaheim on Oct. 5. Vorobiev had two goals and an assist in the first meeting with San Jose.

Blackhawks defenseman Adrian Aucoin missed his second straight game with a groin injury, but may see action Saturday.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 13): Blackhawks - 2 points, 3rd place (tied), 4 PB, Central Division. Sharks - 4 points, 3rd place,2 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blackhawks - Vorobiev, 4 goals; Brent Seabrook and Tyler Arnason, 5 assists; Arnason, 7 points; Matthew Barnaby, 15 PIM. Sharks - Primeau, Patrick Marleau, Marco Sturm, Niko Dimitrakos, and Nils Ekman, 2 goals; Milan Michalek and Alyn McCauley, 3 assists; Marleau, Sturm and Michalek, 4 points; Kyle McLaren, 12 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 13): Blackhawks - Power play: 20.0 percent (6 for 30), 8th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 77.8 percent (21 for 27), 22nd. Sharks - Power play: 11.5 percent (3 for 26), 21st (tied). Penalty killing: 75.0 percent (18 for 24), 25th (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Blackhawks - Khabibulin (2-3-0, 0 SO, 3.45 GAA); Craig Anderson (no appearances). Sharks - Evgeni Nabokov (2-1-0, 0, 3.33); Vesa Toskala (0-1-0, 0, 10.43).

SEASON SERIES: Blackhawks, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 7; Blackhawks, 6-3. At Chicago, Seabrook had four assists as Khabibulin earned his first win as a Blackhawk with 21 saves.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blackhawks - 0-1-0 on the road; Sharks - 1-0-0 at home.


Associated Press

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