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Sundstrom, Nabokov help Sharks salvage tie

12/5/2001

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Niklas Sundstrom celebrated his return to the lineup by scoring the tying goal.

Sundstrom, who missed the last two games with a knee injury, scored early in the third period as the San Jose Sharks tied the Calgary Flames 2-2 on Tuesday night.

"It felt good to be back," Sundstrom said. "We've been
playing pretty good the last three or four games, and we're working
off that."

The Sharks outshot Calgary 16-4 in the third period.

"We certainly had our opportunities," Sharks coach Darryl Sutter said. "We seemed to play better after we were down a goal
than when it was tied. But we had trouble getting the puck
through."

Toni Lydman and Craig Conroy each scored for the Flames,
unbeaten in three games.

Teemu Selanne also scored for the Sharks, who extended their
unbeaten streak to four.

Calgary's Mike Vernon stopped 32 shots, to improve to 19-2-3 against his former team. Vernon is still looking for his first win since last Feb. 9 against Colorado. He's 0-10-2 in his last 12 games, including 0-4-1 this season.

"That was my first point and it was a long time coming," Vernon said of this season. "I don't think I've ever had a drought like this in my life."

Evgeni Nabokov, who has allowed three goals or fewer in each of
his last seven games, stopped 20 shots for San Jose. The Sharks
play seven of their next eight on the road, beginning with a
rematch in Calgary on Thursday.

Dave Lowry had an open shot late for the Flames, but Nabokov was
able to get his skate in the way. The puck bounced over the net as
time ran out.

"We had too many turnovers in the third period," Calgary coach
Greg Gilbert said. "But the guys really battled for the point. San
Jose is pretty hot right now, so ending up in a tie is a pretty
good effort."

Selanne gave the Sharks the early lead. He knocked down a pass
from Conroy at the blue line, skated in and beat Vernon.

The Flames tied it with a power-play goal late in the first
period. After taking a pass from Marc Savard along the boards,
Lydman took a slap shot from inside the blue line that beat Nabokov
to the glove side.

Lydman's goal was only the second power-play goal allowed by San
Jose at home this season in 46 attempts.

"He's been a big part of our power play and he moves the puck
well in the neutral zone," said Flames forward Jarome Iginla, the
NHL's leading scorer with 41 points. "It was good to see him score
his first goal. He's going to score a bunch."

Conroy also scored from just inside the blue line after taking a
pass from Jamie Allison.

Sundstrom put in a rebound from the right side less than two
minutes into the third period to make it 2-2. Scott Thornton's shot
from the left bounced off Vernon straight to Sundstrom.

Game notes
Calgary D Derek Morris missed his fourth game because of a
wrist injury. ... Sharks RW Todd Harvey missed his third straight
with a knee injury. ... San Jose D Mike Rathje, who signed a
four-year contract last Thursday, is expected to see his first
action Saturday in Vancouver. ... Selanne has 53 points in 36
career games against the Flames. ... LW Stephane Matteau was
scratched from the Sharks lineup because of personal reasons.