CHICAGO – Rookie Pavel Vorobiev had two goals and an assist, and Nikolai Khabibulin made 21 saves for his first win with the Blackhawks as Chicago defeated the San Jose Sharks 6-3 on Friday night.

Jim Vandermeer, Tuomo Ruutu, Tyler Arnason and Jassen Cullimore also scored and defenseman Brent Seabrook had four assists as Chicago clicked for three power-play goals – including two 5-on-3 conversions – in seven chances.

Seabrook tied the Blackhawks records for assists and points in a game by a rookie. Vorobiev entered having scored only one goal in 19 previous NHL games.

Khabibulin, who backstopped Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup title in 2004, signed a four-year, $27 million deal with Chicago in August.

Marco Sturm, Kyle McLaren and Milan Michalek scored for San Jose, which dropped to 0-2.

Vesa Toskala started in goal for the Sharks, but was replaced by Evgeni Nabokov at 1:49 of the second period after allowing four goals on 14 shots. Nabokov gave up two goals on 12 shots.

The Sharks went 2-for-8 on the power play.

The Blackhawks led 3-0 at 7:21 of the first period.

Vandermeer opened the scoring just 29 seconds in with a 40-foot shot that sailed just beyond Toskala’s outstretched glove.

A pair of 5-on-3 goals, scored by Ruutu and Arnason 90 seconds apart, made it 3-0.

After a quick fake, Ruutu ripped a shot from the slot over Toskala’s glove at 5:51 to make it 2-0. Arnason then fired Vorobiev’s pass from across the slot in off the inside of Toskala’s right pad at 7:21.

Cullimore extended the lead to 4-0 at 1:49 of the second with a power-play goal from the left point.

Following the goal – and with Chicago holding a 14-2 shots advantage – Nabokov replaced Toskala.

Sturm pounced on a rebound of Scott Hannan’s shot for a power-play goal at 5:14 to cut it to 4-1.

Vorobiev replied at 8:45 to make it 5-1. His second goal at 1:33 of the third came when he beat Nabokov on the short side from the top of the right circle.

McLaren fired in a loose rebound at 2:01 to make it 6-2. Michalek completed the scoring with a power-play goal with 2:34 left.

Notes: Chicago LW Eric Daze left the pregame warmup after being hit with a shot and was scratched from the lineup. Daze has undergone surgery three times in five years to repair herniated discs in his back. … Blackhawks D Jaroslav Spacek missed his second game with sore ribs. … San Jose D Josh Gorges, 21, played in his first NHL game. … The game drew an announced crowd of 11,823. The Blackhawks’ opener on Wednesday drew 16,533.

AP-ES-10-07-05 2317EDT


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