CHICAGO (AP) -- Steve Rucchin's late short-handed goal for
Anaheim spoiled Theo Fleury's return Friday night.
Fleury scored in his first game following a 25-game suspension
for violating the league's substance abuse aftercare program.
But it wasn't enough. Rucchin deflected in a goal with 6:51 left
in the third period to snap a tie and give Anaheim a 4-3 win.
"It's huge for us,'' Rucchin said. "We lost our last couple of
games and this is a big game for us. We just found a way against a
really good hockey club to come out on top by one goal.''
"It was just the perfect shot by Keith,'' Rucchin said. "He
put it exactly where he had to put it -- away from the goalie and
just let me get a stick on it.''
Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 17 saves.
"I think tonight was one of our good performances on the
season,'' Giguere said. "Offensively we had a lot of jump.''
Fleury wasn't as happy, even though he finally played his first
regular-season game since signing with the Blackhawks as a free
agent last August.
"It's a disappointing loss against a team we needed to beat,''
Fleury said. "It's disappointing in the way we lost and we need to
With the game tied at 3, the Blackhawks went onto the power play
with 7:24 left in the third period after Anaheim's Niclas Havelid
was sent off for tripping.
"It was 3-3 going into the third period in our own building,''
Fleury said. "We should do better.''
Mark Bell and Alex Zhamnov also scored for the Blackhawks, who
are 2-7 in their last nine games.
Thibault stopped 22 shots.
Fleury opened the scoring at 10:15 of the first period,
connecting on his fourth shift.
With his back facing the net, Fleury fought off coverage by
Anaheim's Pavel Trinka and backhanded in a rebound of Lyle
McDonald tied it at 1 with 6:11 left in the period on a partial
breakaway. Thibault stopped McDonald's backhander, but the puck
Bell restored Chicago's lead, at 2-1, 40 seconds later on a
quick wrist shot from the right circle.
Krog tied it 2-2 with 4:24 left in the first when his wrist shot
from the left circle surprised Thibault.
Sykora gave Anaheim a 3-2 lead at 11:09 of the second with a
5-on-3 power-play goal from the edge of the crease.
Zhamnov was credited with a goal that tied it at 3 with 14.2
seconds left in the second. Eric Daze's shot from a sharp angle
struck Zhamnov and deflected in.
Before scoring in the first period Friday, Bell had gone 11
games without a point. ... Fleury had scored his last goal on March
25 while with the New York Rangers. ... Krog's goal was his first
point in 10 games. McDonald's goal was only his second point in 10