NHL: Sharks finally find net

CHICAGO -- The San Jose Sharks had many chances against Nikolai Khabibulin and the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

It took a late power-play goal by Milan Michalek, however, to finally break through.

Michalek's second power-play goal of the game, with 3:31 left in the third period, snapped a tie and gave the Sharks a 2-1 win.

From the edge of the crease, Michalek deflected Matt Carle's shot past Khabibulin. The goal gave the Sharks their eighth consecutive win over the Blackhawks, with seven of the victories in regulation.

The Sharks dominated through most of the game, outshooting the Blackhawks 32-17.

"We talked about having to work hard 60 minutes and that's what we did today," Michalek said. "We had all the chances and finally scored the second goal."

Michalek's goals were his first two of the season. He was hampered in the preseason with an arm injury, but has been in the lineup for all four of San Jose's regular-season contests.

"It's nice I scored today," he said. "It's good for my confidence. I had some chances in our first three games."

Although Khabibulin turned in a strong, 30-save performance, the Sharks' ability to convert two of six power plays finally gave them the win. San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov blocked 16 shots.

"We had our chances," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "I think tonight was the best game I've ever seen Khabibulin play against us.

"It was getting a little frustrating, but it didn't affect our play," Wilson added. "We have to use our speed and particularly our size. Tonight, the way we were skating and playing, any team will have trouble down low against us."

Chicago rookie Jonathan Toews scored on his first shot in his first NHL game to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead at 13:43 in the first period.

After Toews was sent off for a hooking penalty in the second period, Michalek scored his first power-play goal, at the 10:28 mark.

SENATORS 5, THRASHERS 0, at Atlanta -- Antoine Vermette scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, Brian Elliott won his NHL debut in goal and Ottawa remained unbeaten with a victory over winless Atlanta. The Senators improved to 5-0, just one win off the franchise record for most consecutive victories at the start of the season. Defending Southeast Division champion Atlanta has just four goals in its three losses.

RED WINGS 4, FLAMES 2, at Detroit -- Kris Draper's goal late in the second period broke a tie, and Chris Osgood made 19 saves in place of Dominik Hasek for Detroit. Hasek, in goal the first three games, didn't play because of a bruised knee cap.

ISLANDERS 2, RANGERS 1, at Uniondale, N.Y. -- Bryan Berard broke a second-period tie and fellow defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron had a goal and assist for the Islanders.

BLUES 4, PREDATORS 1, at St. Louis -- Paul Kariya helped beat his old team, assisting on two first-period goals as St. Louis beat Nashville in its home opener.

BLUE JACKETS 3, COYOTES 0, at Columbus, Ohio -- Jared Boll scored his first NHL goal and Pascal Leclaire picked up his second shutout in as many games for Columbus.

CANADIENS 3, PENGUINS 2, at Pittsburgh -- Carey Price made 26 saves in his NHL debut and Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov each had a goal and an assist to lead Montreal.

STARS 5, KINGS 1, at Dallas -- Niklas Hagman scored two goals, including one short-handed, Marty Turco stopped 32 shots and Dallas beat Los Angeles after sweeping all three meetings last season.

LIGHTNING 2, PANTHERS 1, at Tampa, Fla. -- Chris Gratton scored twice and Johan Holmqvist made 30 saves for Tampa Bay, which has won its first three games for the third time in team history.

WILD 2, OILERS 0, at St. Paul, Minn. -- Pavol Demitra had a goal and an assist, Marian Gaborik added a pair of assists and Niklas Backstrom made 21 saves for unbeaten Minnesota.

FLYERS 8, CANUCKS 2, at Vancouver, British Columbia -- Mike Richards had four points to help Philadelphia rout Vancouver. Jeff Carter and R.J. Umberger scored 13 seconds apart midway through the first, and Daniel Briere scored and set up Simon Gagne before the period ended as Philadelphia built a 4-1 lead.

DUCKS 2, BRUINS 1, at Anaheim -- Ryan Getzlaf scored the tying goal and assisted on the game-winner in the third period, helping Stanley Cup champion Anaheim defeat Boston in the teams' only meeting this season.

FORMER PLAYER FOUND GUILTY -- Former NHL player Rob Ramage was found guilty Wednesday of impaired driving causing death and four other charges in connection with a wreck that killed former Chicago Blackhawks star Keith Magnuson.

Magnuson died Dec. 15, 2003, when a rental car driven by Ramage slammed head-on into another vehicle in Woodbridge. Magnuson was 56.

The 48-year-old Ramage, who lives in St. Louis, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 17. He's facing a jail sentence and his lawyer, Brian Greenspan, said his permanent residency status in the United States would be terminated once he's sentenced. Ramage must return to Canada on Dec. 18 for sentencing submissions.