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'Hawks prevent Hull from 700-goal plateau

CHICAGO (AP) -- With a late two-goal lead, Jocelyn Thibault faced
a charging Brett Hull.

Just over a week ago, Hull beat the Chicago goalie twice to spark
a Detroit comeback. This time, Thibault made the save and Chicago
got the win.

Thibault made 26 saves, and four players scored for the
Blackhawks in a 4-1 victory over the Red Wings on Wednesday night
in the third meeting in 11 days between the longtime rivals.

In the first game, Hull scored twice in the third period and
made a pass in overtime for the winning goal in Detroit's 4-3
victory.

With 7:37 left on Wednesday, Hull skated ahead of two defenders,
cut across the goal and fired a backhand shot that Thibault stopped
with his outstretched pad.

"We knew what happened to us last game here,'' Thibault said.
"We were up 2-0 and they came back and won the game in overtime.
We didn't want the same thing to happen tonight and we really bared
down after the second.''

The save drew the loudest cheer of the night and prevented Hull
from moving within one goal of becoming the sixth NHL player to
score 700 goals.

"Breakaways for me are few and far between,'' Hull said. "So I
just tried to make a little dip. I thought I had him.''

He didn't, and the Blackhawks now trail the first-place Red
Wings by five points in the Central Division. Detroit has lost four
of seven.

Chicago scored three times in the second period, the first by
Alexei Zhamnov at 3:31 to tie it at 1. He got an open look at the
net when Kyle Carder wrapped a pass behind his back and found a
streaking Zhamnov in front of the goal.

The Blackhawks took the lead at 9:12 of the second period on
Chris Simon's power-play goal. It was his first goal in 22 games, a
scoreless stretch in which he was benched.

Chicago scored again 36 seconds later when Mike Eastwood tipped
a pass across a defender and in front of the goal to an uncovered
Eric Daze, who knocked it into the open net.

Mark Bell added a short-handed goal in the third period.

Forward Steve Thomas said the Blackhawks needed the win as much
for their confidence as for the points in the standings.

"It lets them know that we're a team that has to be reckoned
with,'' he said. "Letting a team like Detroit know that they can't
just skate in here and take two points from us is huge for our
confidence.''

Manny Legace started for the second time in nine games in place
of regular goalie Curtis Joseph.

The Red Wings scored on a power play in the first period when
Henrik Zetterberg took a pass at the blue line, hopped over a
sliding Alexander Karpovtsev and put in a point-blank backhand. It
was Zetterberg's ninth goal of the season.

Detroit had another scoring opportunity in the first period.
Sergei Fedorov had a breakaway, appeared to beat Thibault, but shot
it right at the Chicago goalie.

"I got lucky a little bit,'' he said. "He made a move toward
his backhand, and then he came back the other way and I was kind of
caught in no man's land. But he shot it right in my jock strap, so
it was a good break for me.''

Chicago hasn't lost in regulation since Dec. 15 against Dallas.
The Blackhawks are 7-0-4-3 in that span.

Game notes
Red Wings C
Steve Yzerman joined the team for the first
time this season to begin a regular practice routine. Yzerman had
surgery on his right knee in August and has not played since
helping Detroit win the Stanley Cup in June. ... The Blackhawks and
Red Wings don't meet again until the season finale on April 6 in
Chicago. ... Blackhawks D Jon Klemm missed his 12th game with a
hand injury. ... Zhamnov, who leads Chicago with 33 assists, scored
his first goal in 15 games.