3/21 sharks 4, CHICAGO 1
As a youngster, you are taught to shoot the puck at the net, and when you do, the best place to stand is in front of the net. That point was hammered home last night 5 times (although some may not count the Chicago goal, since it wasn't for the benefit of the good guys, er, Sharks). Joe Thornton led the way with three assists, skating with both Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek, who each recorded a pair of goals for the Teal. The win gave the Sharks the season series sweep over the Blackhawks, winning all 4 games between the teams this year. Evgeni Nabokov stood tall in net, making 28 saves and earning his 20th win of the year.
The Sharks drew first blood, when Joe Thornton skated circles around the Blackhawk players and zone before dishing the puck to defenseman Scott Hannan, who promptly tossed it down to Cheechoo , who took his time, and slipped it past Hawk tender Patrick Lalime (Scott Hannan, Joe Thornton). A Patrick Sharp goal tied the game late in the 1st, and the game remained tied until Milan Michalek struck on the powerplay  (powerplay) (Matt Carle, Craig Rivet). Cheechoo struck again 5 minutes into the 3rd,  (powerplay) (Matt Carle, joe Thornton), and Milan Michalek sealed the deal 7 minutes later  (Joe Thornton, Jonathan Cheechoo).
The Teal victory was their 45th of the year, setting a franchise record for wins and with the win, the Sharks are now 7 points away from clinching a playoff spot.
The Sharks go for #46 tonight with their second-to-last back-to-back of the year, taking the road trip to the south for a Peach State matchup with the Southeast Division leading Atlanta Thrashers (4:00 pacific). The Thrash are 8-2 since acquiring former St. Louis Blue Keith Tkachuk, and are the Southeast division leaders (hooray for monotony). Tonight marks the first game between former Blues teammates Keith Tkachuk and Bill Guerin (let's hope the latter gets the last laugh).
Go Sharks (deep dish domination)
Magic Number - 7 points
Next game for the Avalanche - 3/23 Edmonton @ Colorado