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Ricci helps Sharks end three-game losing skid

11/4/2002

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Mike Ricci's quick stick helped the San Jose Sharks snap their three-game losing streak.

Ricci broke open a tie game by tipping shots by defensemen Mike
Rathje and Bryan Marchment past Jean-Sebastien Giguere -- both on
power plays -- as the Sharks beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 4-3
Sunday night.

"I don't know how many goals he's scored in his career, but I
think about 70 percent of those goals he's scored like that,''
Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov said. "That's his bread and butter.
That's the way you've got to score goals.''

Owen Nolan had a shorthanded goal, and Teemu Selanne also scored
for San Jose. The victory was the first this season for Nabokov,
who made 16 saves in his fourth start since ending a five-game
holdout.

The Ducks honored their Walt Disney Co. stablemates, the World
Series champion Anaheim Angels, in a pregame ceremony. The
championship trophy was on display in the arena, but it didn't
provide enough inspiration to the home team despite goals by Petr
Sykora, Steve Rucchin and rookie Stanislav Chistov.

Ricci gave the Sharks a 3-2 lead at 17:09 of the second,
redirecting Rathje's wrist shot from the top of the left circle.
Ricci scored an identical goal with 5:19 left in the third for his
fifth of the season while Niklas Havelid was off for hooking.

"That's what our power play is all about -- working out front
and getting your stick on it any way you can,'' Ricci said.

In between those two goals, the Ducks had a potential game-tying
goal disallowed with 9:53 left after the video goal judge ruled
that Sykora redirected Ruslan Salei's wrist shot with a high stick.

Referee Mike Hasenfratz waved it off immediately, but it took
several minutes for that decision to be upheld in the booth.

"He said there wasn't conclusive evidence that it was a goal,
so he had to stay with his call,'' Anaheim captain Paul Kariya
said. "But there was no question about that goal. It should have
been 3-3.''

Nolan gave San Jose a 2-1 lead at 7:14 of the second after the
Sharks were penalized for having too many men on the ice. He beat
Giguere from the edge of the crease after skating around Fredrik
Olausson, a healthy scratch the previous two games.

Anaheim tied it just 15 seconds later on Sykora's 20-foot wrist
shot from the slot with 46 seconds still left on the power play. He
was set up by Kariya, who earned his 600th NHL point with the
assist.

With a crowd of 15,157 clapping ThunderStix that were all over
Edison Field during the playoffs and World Series, the Ducks scored
just 19 seconds after the opening faceoff. Chistov carried the puck
down the left side, sped around Marchment and stuffed the puck
under Nabokov for his third goal.

San Jose tied it at 13:17 of the first when Selanne converted a
centering pass from Patrick Marleau, who took the puck away from
Keith Carney behind the net.

It was Selanne's seventh goal of the season, and his fifth in
eight games against the Ducks since the March 5, 2001, trade that
sent him to San Jose for forward Jeff Friesen and goalie Steve
Shields.

The Ducks have nothing left to show for that trade, except a
second-round draft pick next June. Shields was traded to Boston on
June 25 for a third-round draft pick in 2003, and Friesen was dealt
to New Jersey for Sykora in a seven-player deal on July 6.

Selanne has 43 goals and 32 assists in 105 games with the
Sharks. Friesen had 19 goals and 36 assists in 96 games with
Anaheim, and Shields was 9-20-2 with a 2.67 goals-against average
in 33 games with the Ducks.

Since the trade, Anaheim is 38-57-14 and San Jose is 54-46-10
with a division title. The Sharks are 9-2-0 in the last 11
meetings.

Rucchin's fourth goal of the season completed the scoring with
4:53 to play.

Game notes
The Angels were represented by Kevin Uhlich, the team's vice
president of sales, marketing and operations; and GM Bill Stoneman,
who handled the ceremonial opening faceoff. ... Anaheim's Matt
Cullen, who scored in each of his previous three games, hit the
right post with a 15-foot wrist shot in the second period.