Final OT

Series (Game 2 of 4)

Minnesota leads 3-0

Game 1: Thursday, October 24th
Wild3Final
Blackhawks2
Game 2: Thursday, December 26th
Wild2Final
OT
Blackhawks2
Game 3: Wednesday, February 5th
Blackhawks1Final
Wild2
Game 4: Friday, March 28th
Blackhawks3Final
OT
Wild4

Wild 2

(18-11-1, 44 pts)

Blackhawks 2

(17-13-0, 39 pts)

8:30 PM ET, December 26, 2002

United Center, Chicago, Illinois

1 2 3 OT T
MIN 0 2 0 02
CHI 0 1 1 02

J. Thibault (Blackhawks - G): Saves: 24, Save Pct.: .923

A. Zhamnov (Blackhawks - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

R. Park (Wild - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Winless streak reaches four games for Wild

CHICAGO (AP) -- Theo Fleury picked an opportune time to snap a goal drought.

 Theo Fleury
Theo Fleury

Fleury, who had gone five games without scored, put in a rebound at 3:06 of the third period to lift the Chicago Blackhawks into a 2-2 tie with the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.

The Blackhawks extended their unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1).

Standing at the edge of the crease, Fleury stuffed the puck into the net after Dwayne Roloson made a pad save on Alex Zhamnov's shot from the slot.

"I hadn't scored a goal in a while," Fleury said. "It just came right to me and I had an open net. If I miss that, I'd better quit."

Despite netting the game-tying goal, Fleury was upset about not converting Zhamnov's centering pass during a Chicago power play midway through the third.

"Alex made a great pass," Fleury said. "Unfortunately, I had the game-winner on my stick and missed."

Sergei Berezin also scored for the Blackhawks, 6-1-2 in their last nine games.

Wes Walz and Stephane Veilleux had goals for the Wild, whose winless streak reached four games (0-3-1). However, Wild coach Jacques Lemaire was encouraged by his team's effort.

"I think we played much better than the last two games," Lemaire said. "We played the same for three periods and we could have won the game."

Chicago's Jocelyn Thibault made 24 saves. Roloson turned away 22 shots.

"It's been a long time since we played a good 60 minutes together," Walz said. "We're happy with how things went."

The Blackhawks were 0-for-3 on the power play and have converted just one of their last 40 chances. The Wild went 0-for-4 on the power play.

Berezin opened the scoring at 2:57 of the second period, one second after a Chicago power play expired. From the edge of the crease, he swept in a rebound of Eric Daze's shot after Roloson made a pad save.

Walz tied it 1-1 with a one-timer from the slot with 8:30 left in the second. He beat Thibault on the stick side after taking Andrew Brunette's pass from behind the net.

Veilleux gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead with 5:12 left in the period. Despite being knocked to the ice by Chicago's Lyle Odelein, Veilleux managed to direct in Richard Park's pass from behind the net.

Fleury then tied it again after Zhamnov fired a rebound of Odelein's shot from the point. Zhamnov's rebound came to Fleury, who scored his fourth goal in his 10th game this season.

Three of those goals, however, came in Fleury's first four contests following a 25-game suspension.

Chicago's Steve Thomas had a prime scoring chance with 20 seconds left in overtime after he stole the puck from Minnesota's Marian Gaborik.

Game notes
Blackhawks D Jon Klemm missed his second game because of a fractured left index finger. He's expected to return late next week. ... Chicago C Andrei Nikolishin returned to the lineup after missing 13 games with a strained knee. ... The crowd of 18,863 was the Blackhawks' largest this season. ... Minnesota D Brad Bombardir missed the game because of a concussion, sustained Monday in the Wild's 3-2 loss to Calgary.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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