Sharks,Niemi beat Hawks again, 5-3


Joe Thornton broke a tie on a deflection at 7:13 of the third period and the San Jose Sharks beat the Blackhawks 5-3 on Thursday night to snap a two-game losing streak.Thornton, parked in front of the crease, redirected Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s shot from the left point past Marty Turco seven seconds after a San Jose power-play ended.Scott Nichol, Benn Ferriero, Dany Heatley and Ryane Clowe also scored for the Sharks, who bounced back after blowing a 3-1 lead. Clowe connected into an empty net with 48 seconds left.Patrick Sharp, Troy Brouwer and Brian Campbell scored for the Blackhawks. Brouwer and Campbell scored 22 seconds apart in the final minute of the second period to tie it at 3.San Jose goalie Antti Niemi made 26 saves in his first appearance at the United Center since backstopping the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup last spring. He improved to 3-0 against his former club.Turco made his third straight start, stopping 20 shots.Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews sat out his first game because of a right shoulder injury, sustained in a 3-1 loss at St. Louis on Tuesday night. He’s expected to miss at least two weeks.Sharp opened the scoring with a power-play goal with 4:16 left in the first. He connected from the left edge of the crease after taking a feed from Tomas Kopecky behind the net to cap nearly a minute of crisp passing and puck possession. Nichol tied it with 1:06 left in the period when his drive from right wing trickled past Turco after hitting his blocker. Ferriero’s 5-on-3 power-play goal at 1:46 of the second put the Sharks ahead. He scored into an empty net from the left edge of the crease after Logan Couture faked Turco to the ice.Heatley extended San Jose’s lead to 3-1 with another power-play goal with 6:14 left in the second. Turco made a pad save on Jason Demers’ drive from the left circle, but Heatley got behind Niklas Hjalmarsson and fired in the rebound.Brouwer cut it to 3-2 with 23 seconds left in the period with a fluke power-play goal when his shot from the right corner deflected in off the heel of Niemi’s stick. Campbell pinched in from the point and tied it with a second remaining after taking Dave Bolland’s feed from behind the net.

NOTES—San Jose was coming off a 5-3 loss in Minnesota on Wednesday night. …Ryan Johnson, a healthy scratch the last two games, dressed on Thursday to fill Toews’ roster spot … San Jose C Joe Pavelski missed his second game because of an upper-body injury and C Torrey Mitchell his third with a lower-body injury. Both are day-to-day. … Niemi signed with the Sharks last summer after going through arbitration as a restricted free agent. He played all but one period for the Hawks in the playoffs.