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Sharks 7, Blackhawks 1 @NHL

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -Although Bill Guerin needed a while to get used to his new teal jersey, he's finally looking sharp for the San Jose Sharks.

Guerin scored his first three goals for San Jose, and Evgeni Nabokov fell 3 1/2 minutes short of posting his fourth shutout in five games during their 7-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

Guerin finished his eighth career hat trick on a penalty shot with 12.3 seconds to play, capping a four-point night. The veteran forward was scoreless in his first six games since arriving in a trade with St. Louis, but took charge in a rare easy home victory for San Jose.

Though his teammates and coaches said only good things about the Sharks' high-priced acquisition at the trade deadline, Guerin acknowledged gripping his stick a little tighter as the scoreless outings mounted.

"You want to come in, and you want to make an impact right away," said Guerin, who earned the fourth 30-goal season of his career with the hat trick. "It was a little frustrating, and it puts you off your game a little. It's great to play a big role in getting us a win, finally."

Joe Thornton had a goal and two assists, and Milan Michalek had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who scored four times in the third period. Mark Bell and Mike Grier added goals as San Jose earned its second straight win at the Shark Tank after losing seven of its previous eight here. San Jose hadn't won back-to-back home games since mid-January.

The Sharks gave up Ville Nieminen, top prospect Jay Barriball and a high draft pick for Guerin, who'll be a free agent this summer. They paired him on a line with captain Patrick Marleau, and they're already forging a bond.

"It was just a matter of time," Thornton said of Guerin, his former Boston teammate. "For a goal-scorer like that, you just keep shooting the puck, and eventually it'll go in the net. We're all glad he had the big piano off his back, and now hopefully he'll score a lot more goals for us."

The Sharks provided more than enough offense for Nabokov, who seems to be getting better with each of his 13 consecutive starts after spending most of the season in a platoon with Vesa Toskala.

After racking up a franchise-record scoreless streak of more than 166 minutes earlier in the month, Nabokov made 18 saves and was agonizingly close to his eighth shutout of the season before Martin Lapointe scored an unassisted goal with 3:30 left.

"Everything is running right for them right now," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "Our veterans have to step up in situations like this. We have a young group here. Players have to calm things down, and they didn't do it."

Patrick Lalime stopped 27 shots for the Blackhawks, whose three-game winning streak ended in the second stop of a five-game road trip that includes games against the NHL's three California teams in four days.

Guerin scored the Sharks' opening goal against Chicago through sheer hustle. Just 8 minutes in, he outskated a defenseman to a loose puck for a stretching two-handed shot - and it somehow got underneath Lalime.

"They're a good team, (but) they had some lucky goals," Lalime said. "We had a couple of bad breaks."

Guerin ripped a shot off the post moments later, and Bell capitalized for the ninth goal of his disappointing debut season with San Jose after spending his entire career with Chicago.

San Jose clearly responded to coach Ron Wilson's demands for more passion at home, taking a 15-1 shot advantage with a blistering attack in the first 11 minutes.

"We had a lot of jump tonight, and we're starting to get confidence and get guys believing in themselves," Wilson said.

Michalek got his 19th goal of the season late in the second period, converting a brilliant backhand pass from Thornton behind the net.

Thornton added a goal in front early in the third period - and after Grier scored on a pass from Michalek, Guerin stuffed another puck under Lalime to complete his first 30-goal season since 2004.

He added his 31st with a confident move on his penalty shot, setting off a shower of hats from the sellout crowd.

Notes: Sharks C Joe Pavelski sat out with a foot injury. ... The clubs meet again in Chicago in eight days. Players from both teams scuffled after the final buzzer, with Blackhawks D Duncan Keith attempting to fight Sharks C Marcel Goc. ... The Blackhawks haven't won four straight games all season. ... LW Rene Bourque sat out with a lower-body injury for Chicago. He has missed 37 games this season with various ailments, and got hurt again in practice Monday.

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