SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — After struggling to score any goals for four games, the San Jose Sharks had plenty of moves left for a shootout.
Joe Thornton capped San Jose's perfect shootout with a nifty toe-drag past Corey Crawford that helped the Sharks snap a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.
"What a move," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Really nice to watch. That must have been in his bag for a long time because I've been here for six years and I hadn't seen that. It's nice that it came out."
Joe Pavelski scored a short-handed goal in regulation and opened the shootout with a goal, and Patrick Marleau also scored in the tiebreaker for the Sharks, who have won six straight shootouts. Antti Niemi made 29 saves and stopped Patrick Sharp in the second round of the shootout.
After Pavelski and Marleau scored in the first two rounds of the shootout, Thornton ended it when he dragged the puck around Crawford and knocked it in the empty net. Thornton has scored on all three shootout attempts this season after not even attempting one the previous three seasons.
"I was just lucky enough that it went in," Thornton said. "Usually he likes putting me fourth but with so many guys out, I got moved up a slot, which is nice on the ego."
"Not making a save in the shootout was the only thing that bothered me," Crawford said. "We played well and we had our chances to win, a couple of chances late. Our guys were doing a great job of not allowing many second chances."
The teams traded goals early in the third during a Chicago power play with Brad Stuart off for hooking Patrick Kane.
Pavelski got the scoring started with a short-handed goal after a bad breakout pass from Sharp. Scott Hannan quickly sent the puck back to Pavelski, who knocked the pass down, skated past Duncan Keith and beat Crawford high for his 29th goal.
"We get a little tip on it and it turns into a fluttering puck," Pavelski said. "Next thing you know, you see it laying there, and if you can win the race, you've got a chance. I was able to get just enough of an opening to make a shot."