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San Jose stops four-game losing streak

3/16/2003

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Rookie Vesa Toskala took advantage of
his second chance, even stopping the first penalty shot he ever
faced.

Vincent Damphousse scored the winner early in the third period
and Toskala had 32 saves as the San Jose Sharks beat the Calgary
Flames 3-2 on Saturday night to end a four-game losing streak.

Patrick Marleau and Alyn McCauley also scored for the Sharks,
who have beaten the Flames in five of their last six meetings.

Jarome Iginla scored his team-leading 32nd goal -- but missed a
penalty shot in the third period -- for the Flames, who lost for
just the second time in seven games. Scott Nichol also scored.

"I tried to focus on the puck and not go on his first move,"
said Toskala, who did not face a penalty shot in the minors. "I
didn't fall when he faked the first shot."

Damphousse picked up a pass from McCauley inside the blue line
on a power play, skated to the right faceoff circle and wristed a
shot over goalie Roman Turek's stick at 5:47 of the third period.

"Vesa lifted the team and got us going in the third period with
that big save against one of the best shooters in the league,"
McCauley said. "That helped us create our own excitement out
there."

Iginla was taken down by Kyle McLaren just above the crease on a
breakaway less than a minute later. The Calgary star tried to go
right with his shot, but Toskala got a pad on it.

"I bobbled it a bit at the beginning," Iginla said. "It just
wasn't going to go in. It was the third or fourth one I've missed
this season. I wanted it badly."

The Flames took a 1-0 lead on Nichol's short-handed goal at 5:26
of the first period.

Toni Lydman carried the puck up the ice and fired a cross ice
pass to Nichol, who was wide open on Toskala's glove side for the
score.

Toskala was making his fifth appearance for the Sharks, and the
first since Oct. 21 against Vancouver. After spending most of the
season with Cleveland of the AHL, he was recalled on Thursday.

"After I got sent down, I've been waiting for the next
opportunity," said Toskala.

Sharks coach Ron Wilson was impressed by his new goaltender.

"People will remember the penalty shot but he was pretty solid
throughout," he said. "We didn't play well in front of him in the
first period but we came through for him."

The Sharks tied the game 54 seconds into the second period when
Marleau snapped a four-game pointless streak with his 24th goal of
the season.

The Flames responded just over two minutes later to regain the
lead. Iginla scored after skating up the right side and firing a
high shot from 20 feet out over Toskala's left shoulder and into
the upper corner of the net. Turek received a secondary assist on
the goal, his second in as many games and fourth of the season.

"We played well in the first and second period,'' Iginla said.
"But in the third we just weren't able to make a connection."

McCauley scored his seventh goal of the season after bouncing a
shot off Turek's pads on a power play.

Game notes
The Sharks took just three shots on goal in the first
period, matching their second-worst effort of the season and the
fewest since taking two shots in the second period against Dallas
on Feb. 16. ... Flames LW Steve Begin missed his fifth game with a
knee injury. ... Nichol scored Calgary's fifth short-handed goal of
the season. ... C Wayne Primeau made his home debut with the Sharks
after being acquired on Tuesday's trading deadline from the
Pittsburgh Penguins. ... Sharks RW Teemu Selanne was nominated for
the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

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