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Toskala stops 23 shots for fifth career shutout; Sharks down Blue Jackets 3-0

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Toskala stops 23 shots for fifth career shutout; Sharks down Blue Jackets 3-0

The Canadian Press
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Steve Bernier, Jonathan Cheechoo and Marcel Goc each had goals for the Sharks. Toskala is 5-0-0 this season while allowing just under two goals a game with a .926 save percentage. The 12-game winning streak is the longest in Sharks history. He has also won his last eight starts on the road.

Columbus has lost four consecutive games while being outscored 17-5.

The Sharks were 2-for-8 on the power play while Columbus failed to score on seven chances with a man-advantage.

Toskala, who stopped 23 shots, had all the support he needed just 2 1/2 minutes in.

On the power play after Jason Chimera was called for holding, the Sharks surrounded Columbus goaltender Pascal Leclaire. Bernier controlled the puck while skating behind the net and centred it to Milan Michalek, whose shot was stopped.

Matt Carle picked up the rebound and Leclaire left the net to cut down his angle. With Leclaire unable to get back, Bernier was on the doorstep when he got the puck with an unguarded net in front of him.

San Jose defenceman Josh Gorges was tripped while swooping in on the Columbus goal by defenceman Ron Hainsey early in the second period. Gorges slid hard into the corner boards on his left shoulder and had to be helped off the ice.

Not long after that, the Sharks put the game out of reach with two quick goals.

First Cheechoo notched his fifth goal, putting a power-play shot just inside the back post at the 3:15 mark after setup passes from Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

Less than two minutes later Goc, who had twice come close to scoring, picked up his first of the season when he chopped in the rebound after Marc-Edouard Vlasic's shot from the right point. Vlasic, a promising 19-year-old defenceman, learned earlier in the day that general manager Doug Wilson was keeping him with the big club rather than sending him back to his junior team in Quebec.

The Blue Jackets were booed several times while getting outshot 15-4 in the second period.

Alexandre Picard, called up from the Blue Jackets' affiliate in Syracuse earlier in the day, was hit by a hip check by Christian Ehrhoff late in the game and had to be helped off the ice.

Notes: It was the first game of a five-game road trip for the Sharks, their longest of the season. ... C Sergei Fedorov returned after missing the first six Columbus games with a shoulder injury suffered in a pre-season game Sept. 19. ... The Blue Jackets came in tied for eighth in the NHL on the power play (21.7 per cent).

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Toskala stops 23 shots for fifth career shutout; Sharks down Blue Jackets 3-0