The Chicago Blackhawks are one win away from reaching the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1992, thanks to 257-pound playoff dynamo Dustin Byfuglien.

Byfuglien scored his seventh goal of this postseason 12:24 into overtime last night and the host Blackhawks beat the San Jose Sharks, 3-2, to take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

The Blackhawks can finish the sweep with a victory tomorrow at the United Center.

Byfuglien went straight down the middle and took a nice pass from Dave Bolland, who was behind the net, to beat Evgeni Nabokov and set off a deafening roar from the crowd of 22,311.

Bolland scored on a breakaway to put Chicago ahead, 2-1, in the third period, but Patrick Marleau answered with a rebound goal with 4:23 left in regulation to tie it and force overtime.

Marleau also scored in the second period on a power play, giving him four goals in two games. Patrick Sharp had a man-advantage goal for the Blackhawks.

Antti Niemi had 44 saves for the Blackhawks, stopping five shots in overtime, including one on Devin Setoguchi from the right circle. Nabokov finished with 35 saves and had stuffed Patrick Kane earlier in overtime when the quick forward skated to the net.

Bolland picked up a loose puck at center ice after Jonathan Toews blocked a shot, skated ahead, and at the last second maneuvered in to beat Nabokov with just under 7 minutes remaining in regulation to give Chicago a 2-1 lead.

But the lead didn't last long as Marleau scored on a rebound with 4:23 to play.


* Los Angeles Kings assistant coach Mark Hardy, 51, was charged with sexual abuse after a woman said he fondled her in a hotel room, according to charging documents. *