<
>

Thibault earns fourth shutout of season

12/5/2002

CHICAGO (AP) -- Jocelyn Thibault made his fourth shutout of the
season look easy.

Thibault stopped 28 shots, and Eric Daze scored as the Chicago
Blackhawks stopped the Ottawa Senators' 10-game unbeaten streak
with a 1-0 victory Wednesday night.

"I don't think he really had to make a difficult save,''
Chicago coach Brian Sutter said. "That's a compliment to him. He
really played his position well and made himself look big.''

The win was only the second for Chicago in its last eight games
(2-6-0), and it wasn't easy. The Blackhawks and Thibault had to
kill a major penalty to Ryan VandenBussche late in the third period
to earn the victory in their first home game following a 1-6 road
trip.

The shutout was Thibault's 31st of his career, and the first
against the Senators this season.

"Tonight was really a big game for us and we wanted to make a
statement,'' Thibault said. "I just wanted to have a strong game.
I'm not that big a guy, but when I play big, I have success. I'm
just trying to play hard and put myself in the right position.''

Patrick Lalime faced 18 shots, and Marian Hossa saw his 13-game
point scoring streak end for the Senators, who were 8-0-2 in their
unbeaten streak.

"I think when we did have some chances, Thibault was good,''
Senators coach Jacques Martin said. "He played with a lot of
confidence. He was able to see shots and we didn't have as good of
execution.''

After a scoreless first period, Daze opened the scoring at 7:20
of the second.

Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips stick-checked the puck away
from Chicago's Steve Sullivan, who was rushing into the Senators
zone. Phillips, however, couldn't control the loose puck. Daze,
following though on the rush, fired it past Lalime from the right
circle for what turned out to be the game's only goal.

"It was a broken play,'' Lalime said. "(Daze's) got a good
shot.''

Game notes
Chicago D Boris Mironov, who has asked to be traded, didn't
play Wednesday night. Mironov skipped practice Tuesday and didn't
participate in Wednesday's game-day skate. Blackhawks GM Mike Smith
said Mironov will not be paid during his absence and that the team
will try to make a deal to move the defenseman. Mironov, 30, has a
one-year, $3.3 million contract and will become an unrestricted
free agent when the agreement expires. ... The Blackhawks played
their first home game since Nov. 17. ... The Senators were trying
to match their team record for an unbeaten streak, which is 11.
They went 9-0-2 during a stretch in 2001.