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Sharks snap a four-game losing skid

2/15/2003

CHICAGO (AP) -- A late two-man advantage was exactly what the San
Jose Sharks needed to end a four-game losing streak on Friday
night.

Vincent Damphousse snapped a 2-2 tie with a five-on-three
power-play goal with 5:06 left, then Scott Thornton scored during a
one-man advantage 41 seconds later as the Sharks defeated the
Chicago Blackhawks 4-2.

Damphousse, who also had two assists, converted a rebound from
10 feet out. Thornton beat Chicago goalie Jocelyn Thibault from the
left edge of the crease after taking a pass from Mike Ricci from
behind the net.

"(Special teams) have been a little bit of our downfall this
year," Damphousse said. "We put it together tonight. We knew we
had to work the puck around and get in front of Thibault."

Adam Graves had second-period power-play goal for San Jose,
which went 3-for-6 with the man advantage. Owen Nolan had a
short-handed goal late in the second to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.
Nolan added two assists.

Chicago rookie Tyler Arnason scored early in the third period
and Chris Simon scored late in the second as the Blackhawks came
back to tie it.

Chicago has won just twice in its last 13 games, going 2-9-2
during that span with just 27 goals.

"We've been in this position before and found ways to lose,"
San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "Tonight we found a way to win. We
got a five-on-three and that was the difference."

Chicago coach Brian Sutter agreed, but was angered about a
goaltending interference call on Nathan Dempsey with 5:49 left that
set up the Sharks' two-man advantage.

Chicago's Phil Housley already was off for a high-sticking
penalty, whistled 57 seconds earlier.

"The referee's call determined the hockey game," Sutter said.
"Their guy bumped into our guy. Our guy bumped the goalie. Then
their goalie took a dive."

San Jose's Miika Kiprusoff, who made 23 saves, didn't care why
he hit the ice.

"Run me over if you want for a five-on-three," he said.

Thibault made 29 saves.

After a scoreless first period, Graves opened the scoring with a
power-play goal on a deflection at 7:46 of the second. Positioned
at the edge of the crease, Graves tipped Damphousse's feed from the
corner over Thibault's shoulder.

Nolan gave San Jose a 2-0 lead with a short-handed goal with
3:50 left in the second. Nolan drove to the net, beat Chicago's
Steve Sullivan and tucked in a rebound of Damphousse's shot from
the point for his 20th goal.

Simon cut the deficit to one 69 seconds later. With his back to
the goal, Simon backhanded in a rebound of Steve Poapst's shot from
the point.

Arnason tied it at 2 at 3:20 of the third. He slid in a rebound
after Eric Daze had driven to the net off left wing.

Game notes
Graves' goal was his first in 10 games and only his second
in 28. ... Nolan's goal gives him at least 20 for the ninth time in
his career and for the fourth straight season. ... Chicago's
Housley suffered a broken right foot in the game and will miss four
to six weeks. He blocked a shot in the first period, but continued
playing. ... Arnason leads NHL rookies in goal scoring with 16 and
is tied with Sergei Berezin for the team lead.

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