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After Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was called for cross-checking during a scramble at the net, leaving each team a man down, Seabrook took the puck toward the goal. As Marian Hossa battled to get control at the side, the puck slipped between Nabokov's legs.
San Jose coach Todd McLellan referred to the score as "a bit of a disputed goal."
"There's a rule that is in the league right now that if the referee has the intent to blow the whistle, it's dead. The problem with the rule, like a lot of 'em, is there's a lot of gray left in there. Nobody knows what the referee's thinking," McLellan said.
"I certainly respect the job that they do," he added. "Although his whistle was going toward his mouth, the intent wasn't there and we have to live with that. That's the way it goes."
It also gave the Blackhawks the momentum they had been looking for since the first period.
Couture converted a high rebound past goalie Antti Niemi after a shot by Setoguchi from the left boards was deflected, putting the Sharks up 1-0 at 11:08 of the first.
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, had trouble getting anything going offensively and managed just one shot in the first 14 minutes.
But Chicago then peppered Nabokov with seven shots over the final three minutes. He responded with nice stops on Troy Brouwer, Kane and Versteeg.
Niemi made 16 saves for Chicago. Nabokov finished with 23.
NOTES: Couture's opening goal was the first for the Sharks by someone other than Marleau since Jason Demers scored in Game 1. Marleau's goal was his fifth of the series and eighth of the postseason. The Sharks had seven goals total in the series. ... Chicago D Duncan Keith was hit in the face during the rush that led to Marleau's goal, but he returned to the game minutes later. ... Chicago's Andrew Ladd played 2 minutes, 14 seconds in the first period but missed the rest of the game because of an apparent injury.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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