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Thibault makes 44 saves for Chicago

1/30/2003

BOSTON (AP) -- The Chicago Blackhawks had one goal heading into
the All-Star break -- snap a six-game winless streak. All-Star
goalie Jocelyn Thibault made sure it happened.

Thibault made 44 saves and Theo Fleury scored a pair of goals
Thursday night as the Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins 3-1.

"I didn't want to go into the All-Star game the way I was
playing," Thibault said. "I've been making small mistakes that
were costing me, but I worked hard all week to correct them and it
paid off."

Fleury's power-play goal at 8:15 of the first period gave
Chicago a 1-0 lead. It was his eighth goal this season and came on
a rebound off the stick of Kyle Calder.

He added his second goal of the game, giving Chicago a 3-1 lead,
at 6:57 of the third period on a slap shot through the legs of
Boston goalie Jeff Hackett.

"When your goalie is sharp, you have a chance to win every
game, if he's not, you don't have a chance to win any game,"
Chicago coach Brian Sutter said.

The loss was the first in a Boston uniform for Hackett who
stopped 17 of the Blackhawks 20 shots.

Thibault (22-15-7) faced 45 Boston shots.

"Sometimes a goalie can make the difference and Thibault stole
the game tonight," Hackett said.

Boston had its three-game winning streak and five-game unbeaten
streak snapped. It was also the first loss to Chicago in the team's
last four meetings.

Tyler Arnason, who entered the game tied for most goals and
points among rookies in the NHL, upped the Blackhawks' lead to 2-0
at 7:20 of the second period. His slap shot from the left faceoff
circle was his 14th goal and 26th point. The shot was Chicago's
first of the period after the Bruins had the first 12.

Mike Knuble's 14th goal of the season cut the Chicago lead to
2-1 with 4:15 left in the second. The score came on a deflection of
Brian Rolston's shot from the point. Boston outshot the Blackhawks
21-5 in the period. Knuble's power-play goal gave Boston nine in
its last seven games.

"We're right on the edge of playing well. But to do that we
need to play more consistently every night," Knuble said.

Steve Sullivan was helped to the Blackhawks dressing room when
he was slashed by Nick Boynton just prior to Fleury's goal in the
first period but returned to the ice in the second period. It was
one of seven first-period penalties that totaled 20 minutes.

Game notes
Thibault was traded to Chicago from Montreal in a
six-player deal that included Hackett in November 1998. ... Chicago
left wing Chris Simon played his 500th game in the NHL. ...
Alexander Karpovtsev (bruised foot), Sergei Berezin (shoulder
injury) and Eric Daze (pulled groin) all missed the game. ...
Boston defenseman Richard Brennan who bruised his ankle against
Nashville on Tuesday also missed the game.

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