Final

Series (Game 3 of 4)

San Jose leads 4-0

Game 1: Saturday, November 3rd
Canucks1Final
Sharks5
Game 2: Saturday, December 8th
Sharks5Final
Canucks3
Game 3: Saturday, March 9th
Canucks0Final
Sharks2
Game 4: Sunday, March 10th
Sharks7Final
Canucks4

Canucks 0

(29-27-3, 67 pts)

Sharks 2

(34-20-3, 78 pts)

10:00 PM ET, March 9, 2002

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
VAN 0 0 00
SJ 0 1 12

M. Kiprusoff (Sharks - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: 1.000

M. Sturm (Sharks - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

B. Stuart (Sharks - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Rookie Kiprusoff makes 32 saves for shutout

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Although Miikka Kiprusoff's teammates usually call him Kipper, one of the San Jose Sharks chanted "Kip-ru, Kip-ru-soff!" in honor of the rookie's second NHL shutout.

Kiprusoff smiled.

"Every game I get my chance, I try to give my team a chance to win," he said.

Kiprusoff stopped 32 shots as the Sharks shutout the Vancouver Canucks 2-0 on Saturday night. It was Kiprusoff's sixth win in his role as backup to Evgeni Nabokov.

"There were a couple of good saves," he said modestly. "They've got some big guys and they were trying to make traffic."

Marco Sturm had his career-high 17th goal of the season for the Sharks, who have won their last two after a three-game skid. Teemu Selanne also scored.

Dan Cloutier stopped 20 shots for the Canucks, who were shut out for just the second time this season. Vancouver has won just one of its last seven games and is fighting for a playoff spot in the West.

Cloutier credited Kiprusoff.

"He was the difference," Cloutier said., "You get one by him and it's 2-1, and then you don't know where you can go from there."

Coming off a 6-1 loss Thursday to Phoenix that captain Markus Naslund called their worst effort of the season, the Canucks came out dull again on Saturday, with only two shots on Kiprusoff in the first period.

Cloutier made six saves in the first, including a shot that bounced a few feet off the ice before coming to rest precariously between his skate and the left post.

The Sharks, who sit atop the Pacific Division, picked it up in the second, going up 1-0 on Sturm's wraparound goal at 8:08. Sturm has three goals against the Canucks this season, and the Sharks lead the season series 3-0.

Cloutier earned a delay of game penalty midway through the second after he came way out of his goal to dive on the puck as hard-charging forward Mike Ricci skated in. Daniel Sedin served the penalty.

San Jose went up 2-0 at 6:21 of the third when Selanne took a perfect pass from Brad Stuart and fired it past Cloutier. It was Selanne's 22nd goal this season.

Cloutier was pulled with more than a minute to go. But even with the man advantage, the Canucks were unable to beat Kiprusoff.

Canucks coach Marc Crawford said it was better than Thursday, but it still wasn't enough.

"We played better and I think if we have that kind of effort most nights, we'll have a more favorable outcome," he said.

Kiprusoff's first shutout came back on Jan. 5 against Florida, when he stopped 28 shots in a 6-0 San Jose victory.

"This was a tougher game because it was a close game," he said. "It was 1-0, 2-0, so it was mentally tougher."

Game notes


The Canucks host the Sharks on Sunday night. "We have to come back with the effort we had tonight, and then a little bit more," Crawford said. ... Selanne was honored before the game for his 400th career goal, scored Thursday in the Sharks' 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. ... Vancouver F Andrew Cassels left the ice in the third period after colliding with San Jose D Bryan Marchment. After the game, Crawford was unsure of his condition. ... The Sharks have eight shutouts overall this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES