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Blackhawks' Thibault makes 31 saves

11/2/2003

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The Chicago Blackhawks leaned heavily on
Jocelyn Thibault, and he delivered.

Thibault made 31 saves, and Steve Sullivan scored the go-ahead
goal in a three-goal second period of a 3-2 victory over the St.
Louis Blues on Saturday night.

"He was like our whole team in the third period," coach Brian
Sutter said. "Our goaltending has been outstanding."

Travis Moen got his first career goal, and Nathan Dempsey also
scored in the second for the Blackhawks, who totaled three goals in
the previous three games. Chicago is 4-1-2 in its last seven games.

Eric Nickalus scored his first goal, and Dallas Drake added a
short-hander for the Blues, whose three-game winning streak ended.
St. Louis was missing two-thirds of its top line, with leading
scorer Pavol Demitra sidelined by illness, and Scott Mellanby out
with a concussion.

"We don't have a Brett Hull right now in the lineup and we
don't have an Al MacInnis," forward Keith Tkachuk said. "We need
get to get everyone around the net. You get goals if you pay the
price."

The Blackhawks won despite totaling 19 shots, and only four in
the third period. Thibault made 12 saves in the second period and
13 in the third.

"You trail by a couple of goals and you want to give it
everything you've got to try and tie it up," Thibault said. "We
tried to survive in the last part of the game, and we did."

Drake stole the puck from Alexander Karpovtsev in the Chicago
zone on the penalty kill and scored his first goal of the season to
cut the gap to 3-2 at 8:45 of the third. Drake tied the franchise
record with five assists against the Red Wings on Wednesday.

But the Blues were shut out the rest of the way, failing to
follow up a 6-5 victory at Detroit. St. Louis was 0-for-4 on the
power play.

"Sometimes games like this are the toughest you have to play,"
Drake said. "Sometimes you go to sleep for 10 or 12 minutes and it
costs you the game.

"We had some lapses in the second period and we weren't at our
best, but still we did battle."

Nickulas, playing in only his third game of the season, put the
Blues ahead on a rush at 8:07 of the first.

Dempsey tied it at 4:09 of the second with a shot that deflected
off the skate of Blues defenseman Christian Backman. Two penalties
to the Blues in a span of 19 seconds led to Sullivan's go-ahead,
power-play goal at 9:50 of the second.

Moen got his first from the left side of the net at 18:05 of the
period, beating Chris Osgood for a two-goal lead.

The Blues are 0-2-2 in their last four games against the
Blackhawks. This was the first of six meetings between the teams.

Game notes
The Blackhawks have lost only once in 75 games when taking
the lead into the third period, going 59-1-14-1. ... Blues C Petr
Cajanek missed his third straight game with bruised ribs. ... This
was the first game of a four-game homestand for the Blues, who are
2-1 in St. Louis.