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Blackhawks' Korolev scores overtime winner

11/10/2002

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The Chicago Blackhawks almost beat themselves
with penalties. Jocelyn Thibault and Igor Korolev made sure it
didn't happen.

Korolev scored his second goal of the game on a breakaway with
2:21 left in overtime and Thibault made 37 saves as Chicago beat
the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 Saturday night.

Korolev beat Nikolai Khabibulin with a backhander after the
Blackhawks killed off a 5-on-3 power play. It was the first loss
this season at home for the Lightning, who had won their first
five.

The Lightning finished 2-for-13 on the power play. Chicago
failed to covert on its three opportunities. Tampa Bay's power-play
time totaled 21 minutes, 48 seconds compared to the Blackhawks'
3:18.

"Big, big time win for us,'' Blackhawks coach Brian Sutter
said. "Incredible penalty killing. That starts with Thibault. It
goes to our defense, who were incredible. That's a character win,
holy smokes.''

Thibault made a key stop with 2 minutes left in the third period
when he made a diving backhanded glove save on Vaclav Prospal's
rebound.

"I had no other play but get my glove on it,'' Thibault said.
"I had no other place to go. It was a bit of luck.''

Thibault also made another save on an in-close chance by Prospal
during a 5-on-3 power-play in overtime.

"I thought Thibault was just absolutely fantastic,'' Lightning
coach John Tortorella said. "That's the difference in the game.''

Prospal got the Lightning even at 2 with a power-play goal at
8:42 of the third period.

"We knocked on the door all night, but we didn't have the
combination to get in,'' Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis said.

The shutout streak of Thibault ended at 165:58 when St. Louis
tied it at 1 just 3 minutes into the second period.

The Blackhawks had just 18 shots. They have an eight-game
unbeaten streak (6-0-2) against Tampa Bay since a 1-0 loss March
14, 1998.

Korolev put the Blackhawks up 1-0 at 5:06 of the first period
with his first goal in 32 games.

Tampa Bay had three consecutive power plays -- including a 5-on-3
for 56 seconds -- through the midway point of the first period, but
failed to score and had just three shots.

"That's a big key to winning ... penalty killing and our
goalie,'' Korolev said.

After Thibault made a sprawling save on Vincent Lecavalier's
backhander on Tampa Bay's fifth power play early in the second
period, St. Louis tied it on the Lightning's sixth man-advantage
moments later.

During the same stretch, Chicago had just one power play.

Boris Mironov gave Chicago a 2-1 lead at 9:35 of the second.

Dan Boyle appeared to tie the game at 2 at 10:17, but referee
Paul Stewart ruled that Nolan Pratt made incidental contact with
Thibault in the crease.

"We did get a point,'' Boyle said. "We just didn't convert on
the power play. We're not too happy with the loss in overtime.''

Game notes
The victory moved Chicago coach Brian Sutter (409) into a
tie for 13th place on the career list with Jacques Demers. ... Lou
Jankowski, who scored 15 goals for the 1953-54 Blackhawks, attended
the game. ... Former Detroit coach Scotty Bowman, now a consultant
with the Red Wings, was at the game. ... St. Louis has a
career-high seven-game point streak. ... Blackhawks LW Eric Daze
(back surgery) practiced again Saturday and said he is making good
progress toward returning. ... Thibault won his 114th game with
Blackhawks, tying him for fifth place in team history with Mike
Karakas.