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Ducks tie franchise record with 36th win

3/20/2003

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Anaheim Mighty Ducks had just enough to rally for a victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Anaheim trailed after two periods, but Paul Kariya's 300th NHL
goal -- on a power play -- tied it with 9:30 left in the third.
Samuel Pahlsson then snapped the tie with 3:33 remaining as the
Mighty Ducks tied franchise records for victories (36) and points
in a season (85) with a 4-3 win Wednesday night.

"Today was big points for us,'' Anaheim coach Mike Babcock said. "I didn't think we had our 'A' game and yet I thought we found a way to win.''

Pahlsson, who pinched in from the point to net the game-winner,
agreed. He lifted in a rebound from the left of the crease after
Jocelyn Thibault stopped Niclas Havelid's shot from the slot.

"We didn't play our best game, but still got the win,''
Pahlsson said. "We can never give up. Even if we are down in the
third period, we know we have a chance to win.''

Anaheim, 22-12 in one-goal games, became the first team to beat
the Blackhawks in regulation this season when trailing after two
periods. Chicago is 22-1-5-1 when leading after 40 minutes.

"It was just inexcusable,'' Chicago coach Brian Sutter said.
"The guy sneaks in from the point. You don't question the goalie
on that.''

Petr Sykora had a goal and assist, and Stanislav Chistov had a
goal for Anaheim, which swept the four-game season series from
Chicago. Steve Rucchin added two assists.

Chris Simon and Theo Fleury each had a goal and an assist for
the Blackhawks. Steve Sullivan also scored.

Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 39 shots. Thibault made 28 saves.

Simon opened the scoring 4:20 in when he cut across the slot and
deflected in Sami Helenius' shot from the blue line.

Sykora tied it at 1 with his 30th goal with 4:27 left in the
first. He popped in a rebound from the slot after Rucchin drove to
the net.

Chistov gave Anaheim a 2-1 lead with 8:34 left in the second.
After leaving the penalty box, he skated to the slot and converted
a rebound of Rucchin's shot from left wing.

Fleury tied it at 2 with 2:30 left in the second. He backhanded
in a loose puck from the slot after Simon carried it to the crease
and lost control.

Sullivan gave Chicago a 3-2 lead with 59.3 seconds remaining in
the period by swatting in a rebound of Eric Daze's shot.

Game notes
Blackhawks senior vice president Bob Pulford dismissed as
"fabrications'' published reports the team might soon fire general
manager Mike Smith. Stories suggesting the Blackhawks might replace
Smith with fired San Jose GM Dean Lombardi appeared in local papers
Wednesday. Lombardi, Pulford's son-in-law, was fired Tuesday. "I
don't think it's fair to Mike and it's embarrassing to our
organization,'' Pulford said of the reports. "Some reporter made
it up.'' ... Chicago C Alex Zhamnov missed his sixth game because
of a left hand injury. ... Anaheim RW Petr Sykora has five goals in
five games. ... Mighty Ducks C Steve Rucchin has four assists in
two games.