Chicago's luck turns with playful pucker

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Maybe the kiss Steve Sullivan gave to Kyle Calder created some good luck for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Sullivan scored with 38 seconds left in regulation to lift the Blackhawks to a 2-2 tie with the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

In the third period, Sullivan noticed he and Calder were being shown on the giant scoreboard over the ice. Sullivan playfully planted a kiss on the top of Calder's helmet -- and from that point, the Blackhawks controlled play with a sustained effort that eventually resulted in the tying goal.

When asked about the kiss, Sullivan laughed and said: "We also played a game out there, guys."

"We know we're in a slump right now, we're not scoring a lot of goals, but we're still excited about (playing)," he said. "We know that sooner or later, the goals are going to start going in again."

With goalie Steve Passmore pulled for an extra attacker,
Sullivan scored his 20th goal of the season on a pass from Tony
Amonte, who was behind the net. Sullivan yelled for the puck, and
his quick wrist shot beat Miikka Kiprusoff.

"You can look at it 19 different ways on a tie," Chicago coach
Brian Sutter said. "Your glass might be half-empty, but for us,
you can bet it's half-full."

Eric Daze had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who
earned their second tie in two nights after losing the first two
games of their four-game West Coast road trip. Sullivan also got
the game-tying goal on Friday night in Anaheim.

Owen Nolan scored in the third period for San Jose, which
dropped to 1-1-1 in its stretch of four home games in six nights.
Rookie Matt Bradley got his second goal in two nights for the
Sharks, who hold a four-point lead over Los Angeles atop the
Pacific Division.

"We had opportunities to have more than a one-goal lead, and we
couldn't score," Sharks coach Darryl Sutter said. "They had a lot
of opportunities to tie it up even before they did. Considering
that we didn't have everybody on board tonight, I think that we
should be thankful for a point also."

Kiprusoff made 35 saves for the Sharks, including 13 in the
third period as Chicago was the aggressor.

Unlike the Sharks' effort in a 5-4 victory over Washington on
Friday night, when the Sharks attacked the opposing net late in the
game, San Jose allowed the Blackhawks to take over offensively _
and it cost them when Sullivan got the tying goal.

"We've got to win. Everyone else is winning," Mike Ricci said.
"We missed some opportunities, and I don't think we played as well
as we could have. We were lucky to come out with a point."

Bradley put San Jose up 1-0 at 6:59 of the first, but Daze tied
it 5:32 into the third for his team-leading 32nd goal. Just 23
seconds later, Nolan put the Sharks back ahead with his 18th goal
on a slap shot from Gary Suter's pass.

Nolan also had a chance at an empty-net goal in the final
minute, but Phil Housley alertly blocked the shot.

Game notes
Vincent Damphousse played in his 1,200th NHL game. ...
Brian Sutter said RW Steve Thomas, who broke his ankle in late
December, likely will return either Monday, when Chicago opens a
four-game homestand against Dallas, or Wednesday. ... San Jose
finishes its compressed homestand Monday night with a key division
game against Los Angeles before leaving on a week-long road trip.
... The Compaq Center at San Jose will play host to the NCAA
tournament West Regional while the Sharks are on the road.