Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series tied 1-1

Game 1: Monday, December 23rd
Game 2: Friday, March 21st

Sharks 2

(13-15-3, 32 pts)

Bruins 5

(20-9-1, 45 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 23, 2002

TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 12
BOS 1 2 25

J. Grahame (Bruins - G): Saves: 25, Save Pct.: .926

J. Thornton (Bruins - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

P. Marleau (Sharks - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Sharks finish five-game road trip 1-2-1-1

BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Bruins were able to exploit San Jose's biggest weakness to help end their own slump.

John Grahame

John Grahame made 25 saves, and the Bruins snapped a six-game winless streak with a 5-2 victory Monday night over Sharks.

The Bruins started 19-4-3-1, but their last victory came against the New York Rangers on Dec 8. Boston allowed 25 goals during its winless streak.

"Anytime you let in 25 goals in six games, you have to look in the mirror,'' Grahame said. "But sometimes goaltenders can bring you out of a slump, and tonight the guys made it easy for me.''

The Sharks began the night tied for last in the NHL in penalty killing, and after the Bruins converted their first two power plays, San Jose had allowed six power-play goals in the last 12 opportunities.

"It's not how we kill penalties or what we do up the ice,'' Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "Everything seems to be going along fine until we make a dumb mistake, and we have to be tougher mentally than that.''

San Jose wrapped up its five-game road trip 1-2-1-1 and has given up 16 goals in the last three games.

"It seems like every little miscue we have is going in the net,'' Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan said. "We've got to get back to basics and start working better together as a group.''

Bryan Berard gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead at 8:21 of the second period when he wristed a shot past Evgeni Nabokov from the left circle. Berard has two goals and nine assists in 10 career games against the Sharks.

Ivan Huml scored just over five minutes later, when his wrist shot squirted through Nabokov's legs.

Boston is 7-0-2 against San Jose at home and 12-3-4 overall.

Joe Thornton gave the Bruins a 4-1 lead when he scored his 20th goal at 6:35 of the third. Thornton added an assist, and it is his fourth straight season with 20 goals.

"Joe's goal was huge and that is what we depend on him to do,'' Bruins coach Robbie Ftorek said. "That was a kind of nail in the coffin.''

Grahame improved to 3-0 against San Jose with a 1.67 goals-against average.

Boston took a 1-0 lead on the first period when Mike Knuble redirected Thornton's shot past Nabokov at 12:39. Knuble has four goals and six points in the last seven games.

Teemu Selanne scored his team-leading 18th goal for the Sharks to tie it 1-1 at 13:45 of the first. Patrick Marleau made a backhanded pass through the crease, and Selanne knocked the puck past Grahame.

San Jose's line of Marleau, Selanne and Marco Sturm has combined for 20 points in the last five games.

Glen Murray had two assists and has six in the last four games for Boston. P.J. Axelsson added an empty-net goal with 11 seconds remaining.

Jim Fahey scored his first NHL goal and point at 10:29 of the third period for the Sharks.

Game notes

Berard notched his 200th NHL point. ... Scott Thornton returned to the lineup for San Jose after missing four games with a back injury. ... Boston G Steve Shields and D Nick Boynton missed their second consecutive game with the flu. ... Boston recalled G Tim Thomas from Providence of the AHL. ... Sean O'Donnell recorded his 100th NHL assist, while Murray notched his 200th career assist.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press