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Thibault blanks Wings in Detroit for second time in year

DETROIT (AP) -- There's just something about Joe Louis Arena and
playing the Detroit Red Wings that gets Jocelyn Thibault excited.

Thibault made 18 saves for his 29th career shutout, and Steve
Sullivan and Andrei Nikolishin scored to lead the Chicago
Blackhawks over Detroit 2-0 Tuesday night.

Thibault blanked the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena for the second
time in less than a year. He was the last goaltender to shut out
the Stanley Cup champions in Detroit when Chicago beat them 2-0 on
Dec. 17, 2001.

''It's just a good feeling to come in and get a win,'' Thibault
said. ''To get a shutout is a bonus.''

Chicago is 6-0-3-0 in its last nine games at Detroit since
losing on April 2, 1999.

''We really respect Detroit. We know how good a club they are,''
Sullivan said. ''So, when the puck drops, we try to take it to them
because we know they're trying to take it to us. We're ready and we
ask for a little more. Because that's what it takes to beat
Detroit.''

Sullivan scored 1:16 into the second period by tipping in Alex
Zhamnov's cross-ice pass from the top of the left circle.

The goal came a second after Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios
stepped out of the penalty box after serving a hooking penalty.

Nikolishin jammed the puck in off a goal-mouth scramble with
1:08 left just as Kris Draper stepped out of the penalty box after
serving a slashing penalty.

''Our power play gave us two goals and that was the game,''
Chicago coach Brian Sutter said.

Thibault stopped Chelios on a shorthanded breakaway with a pad
save with 2:20 left, then denied Sergei Fedorov from point-blank
range with a chest save with 1:35 to go.

''I tried to put it between his glove and his shoulder,''
Fedorov said. ''For some reason, I couldn't get the puck to settle
down to get the stick on it at the right time.''

Thibault just wanted to hang in there on the play.

''I just tried to hold my ground and make him beat me with a
good shot,'' he said.

The Red Wings failed to score a power-play goal for the first
time this season. They were 0-for-6 with the extra skater.

''We just couldn't capitalize on the chances we had,'' coach
Dave Lewis said. ''The puck was bouncing.''

Game notes
The Red Wings will visit the White House and meet with
President Bush on Friday, when they will be honored for their 2002
Stanley Cup championship. ... Brendan Shanahan missed the game for
Detroit because he was attending a funeral in Toronto. ... Chicago
defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev was helped off the ice in the
middle of the second period after getting hit by Brett Hull's shot
on the inside of his right foot. He'll be re-evaluated Wednesday.
... Chicago defenseman Phil Housley has three goals and seven
assists in his last 11 games. ... Blackhawks center Alex Zhamnov
has one goal and 10 assists in his last 12 games.