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Chicago has only one win in last 20

12/22/2003

CHICAGO (AP) -- After honoring Keith Magnuson for his
determination before the game, the Chicago Blackhawks displayed
some of their own.

Ville Nieminen and Burke Henry scored third-period goals as
Chicago Blackhawks battled back from a pair of one-goal deficits to
tie the New Jersey Devils 2-2 on Sunday night.

"As a team we showed a lot of character for tonight's people
and for the Magnuson family," Nieminen said. "We really played
our hearts out. I thought that was the greatest hockey game in this
building this year."

Chicago honored Magnuson, who was killed in a three-car accident
on Monday, Dec. 15 in Toronto, with video tribute and moment of
silence before the game.

"It's been a tough week for our team," Chicago coach Brian
Sutter said. "A lot of our players are youngsters and their
fathers are the same age as Maggie. Some of our guys didn't
understand what he meant (until now). The characteristics that he
brought to the game, the heart and the character. He's just a guy
you looked up to. Maggie was a Blackhawk."

Despite slowing down the defending Stanley Cup champions,
Chicago still has only one win in its last 20 games (1-12-4-3). New
Jersey finished its five-game road trip with three wins and a tie.

"I'm happy with the point on the road," Devils coach Pat Burns
said. "Any point on the road you've got to be happy with. I think
we were definitely tired at the end of a road trip."

Devils goalie Martin Brodeur was sharp, stopping 32 shots in his
20th straight start.

"We're not used to being away from home this long," he said.
"I think it's working on everybody mentally.

"It's a tough tie when you're leading with four minutes left,"
he said. "They took it to us."

Nieminen scored with 3:49 remaining tie the game at 2. He took a
pass from Scott Nichol and skated from the right circle, around a
fallen Scott Stevens and into the slot before beating Brodeur with
a wrist shot from 15 feet.

"My shot was not really hard," said Nieminen. "It was not a
perfect shot. Marty Brodeur was stopping it too early and it flew
over his shoulder."

Scott Gomez and Scott Stevens scored and assisted on each
other's goals for New Jersey.

Gomez opened the scoring at 9:15 of the second period. Michael
Leighton stopped Stevens' slap shot from the left point but Gomez
knocked in the rebound.

Henry tied the game at 3:34 of the third period. Henry took a
pass at the left point from Stephane Robidas and fired a slap shot
that dipped under a screened Brodeur.

"I didn't expect him to shoot to score from there. I expected
him to shoot for a rebound," Brodeur said. "The guy got a lot of
wood on it. It's a shot I should normally stop if I see it."

Stevens scored with 5:43 left in the third to regain the lead
for New Jersey. Gomez found Stevens alone in the slot and Stevens
slipped the puck between Leighton's left pad and the post.

"I joined the play," Stevens said. "If I didnt jump up, I
don't get a chance and score."

Leighton stopped 27 shots, including a good opportunity from
Gomez with 90 seconds left in overtime.

Game notes
Gomez was also inspired from the tribute to Magnuson. "I
met Mr. Magnuson when I was 16 years old. He was one of those guys
who made you smile and happy that you were a hockey player," he
said. Gomez extended his points-scoring streak to five games (two
goals, five assists). Gomez appeared to score again with 8:31
remaining in the second, but Sergei Brylin was called for
goaltender interference and the goal was disallowed. New Jersey has
one other season-high five game road trip. Chicago defenseman Steve
Poapst left with an injured leg in the second period but is
expected to play Tuesday against St. Louis.