Aaron Johnson, a defenseman on the third pairing, went down in the second period of a 3-2 overtime loss at San Jose. He was hurt when the Sharks' Mike Grier hit him from behind and sent him sailing into the boards. Grier received a game misconduct, but Johnson -- a pleasant surprise after being called up from Rockford two games into the season -- didn't return to the game.
Then, before the second period was over, goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin got tangled up with a San Jose player and was left sprawling face-first. He skated off after receiving treatment but, like Johnson, didn't return to the game.
The NHL's new policy, which allows teams to not disclose injuries, leaves the status of Johnson and Grier in doubt for the conclusion of the road trip on Friday at Anaheim and Saturday at Los Angeles.
Cristobal Huet, who has played acceptably -- though not as well as Khabibulin -- will take over in goal if Khabibulin can't go. The Blackhawks have veteran Brent Sopel available to replace Johnson.
SHARKS 3, BLACKHAWKS 2 (OT): Joe Thornton's goal 45 seconds into the extra session decided Wednesday's game and kept the Sharks unbeaten (12-0-1) on their home ice. They've beaten the Blackhawks 13 consecutive times, and their goaltender, Evgeni Nabokov, recorded his 10th straight win over Chicago.