Recap: Antti Niemi And The Sharks Get The Win Over The Blackhawks

An empty net goal at 19:57 of the game via Patrick Marleau was his second of the night, and nothing more than icing on the cake for the San Jose Sharks, who beat the Chicago Blackhawks in a decisive 5-2 game. It was the two teams' first meeting since the Western Conference Finals last season where the Blackhawks swept San Jose in four games.

Marleau's first goal came seven minutes earlier at 13:47 of the third period on a San Jose Sharks power play. Joe Thornton took the puck up center ice and fired a pass to "Patty," who turned on the jets and beat his man handily, putting a wrist shot in behind Marty Turco, who didn't even see him coming. The goal gave San Jose a two-goal, 4-2 lead.

Dany Heatley got the action started with a goal in the first period off of a Devin Setoguchi assist that saw him spin around a defenseman and fire off a desperation shot that was just as confusing as it was impressive. It was also kind of hilarious.

Douglas Murray came up big for the Sharks, though he didn't pick up any goals or assists. He did, however, control the puck well, create a lot of scoring opportunities, and had a very impressive diving save late in the third period after the Blackhawks went empty net. Chicago fired on net and the goalie was out of position, but Murray made a diving save with his hand and pushed it away before drawing a penalty.

Antti Niemi made 30 of 32 saves against his old team and had a .937 save percentage. Niemi drew the start over Antero Niittymaki, despite the fact that the latter has been playing better of late. It seems the motivation of playing his old team was enough to give Niemi the ability to win it for San Jose.

With two assists, Joe Thornton found himself moving into 85th on the NHL's all-time scoring list with 950 points.

Jake Dowell and Patrick Sharp scored for the Blackhawks, who have alternated wins and losses in their last four games. Marty Turco stopped 24-of-28 shots in defeat for Chicago.

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