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With Douglas Murray in the penalty box for roughing, the Blackhawks added to their lead when Duncan Keith fired a shot from the point with Toews and Byfuglien in front of the net. This time Toews got his stick on the puck to redirect it past Nabokov, make it 3-0 and silence the sellout crowd that greeted the Sharks with earsplitting applause less than two hours earlier.
Marleau gave the Sharks some life when Joe Thornton found him alone in the circle with a pretty cross-ice pass that cut the deficit to 3-1. But the hole proved too big for the Sharks to overcome, especially after Brouwer tipped in a shot from Niklas Hjalmarsson midway through the third to make it 4-1.
San Jose's frustration was evident when Thornton slashed Dave Bolland while lining up for a faceoff, leading to a Chicago power play.
The Sharks looked the more desperate team early, generating most of the scoring chances in the opening 10 minutes but being unable to get a puck past Niemi. Devin Setoguchi was stopped by a pad save off a rebound, Thornton had a deflection and a one-timer turned aside seconds apart and Joe Pavelski nearly scored on a wraparound.
The Blackhawks made the most of their chances as Ladd carried the puck in from the neutral zone and beat Nabokov with a wrist shot from just inside blue line for the only goal of the first period. Once again, it was Thornton's line that was on the ice for that goal, dropping him to minus-3 on the series and minus-9 in the playoffs.
NOTES: Toews assisted on Byfuglien's goal extending his points streak to 11 games. ... The Blackhawks are 17-2 all-time in the playoffs when taking a 2-0 series lead.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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